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Annual. Publication 


historical Papers 


Published by the Historical Society of Trinity College, 


Under the Supervision of the Department of History. 




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i. Frontispiece— Edward Graham Daves. 


2. Fort Hamby on The Yadkin i 

Robt. I,. Flowers. 

3. The Origin and Development of the Ku KIux Clan .... 10 

Sanders Dent. 

4. Raleigh's New Fort in Virginia — 158.5 27 

Edward Graham Daves. 

$. Edward Graham Daves .......... 53 

John S. Bassett. 

6. Francis Lister Hawks 56 

Sanders Dent. 

7. A Ku Klux Raid and V/hat Came of It 65 

W. H. Pegram. 

8. The North Carolina Manumission Society 71 

C. C. Weaver. 

9- John S. Cairnes, Ornithologist 77 

W. K. Boyd. 

10. Book Notices 83 

John S. Bassett. 


The following sketches represent for the most part work 
done by the students in the upper classes of Trinity College. 
It has not been thought wise to be too stringeut in reforming 
the style of these pieces, but pains have been taken to ensure 
the reliableness of the facts presented. The work of collect- 
ing them was begun with some hesitation, but it is now an 
assured fact that they will appear regularly in the future. 

John S. Bassett, 

January i, 1897. Professor of History. 





In Maxell, 1S65, General Stoneman left East Tenm- 
moving' by the turnpike leading from Taylors ville. Tenit., 
through Wautauga county to "Deep Gup on the Blue Ridge. 
On the 25th of March, he entered Boone, X. C, and on 
the 27th the column was divided, one division under Gen- 
eral Stoneman marching towards Wilkesboro, wilile the 
other, under General Gillam, crossed the Blue Ridge at 
Bloving Bock and went to Patterson in Caldwell county, 
and then joined Stoneman at Wilkesboro. Leaving Wilkes- 
boro on the 31st, General Stoneman moved over into 
Surry county, going toward Mt. Airy. During the march 
through this section of the State, Stoneman 5 s men com- 
mitted many depredations, and after leaving Wiikesboro 
a number of the lawless element of bis command deserted. 
Shortly after this a number of men, some deserters from 
Stoneman" s command and other worthless characters, led 
by two desperate men, Wade and Simmons, completely 
terrorized a large portion of Wilkes county by their fre- 
quent raids. 

In order to fully understand the situation, the condition 
of the country at that time must be taken into considera- 
tion. Almost every man lit for military service was in the 
army, and the country was almost completely at the mercv 
of the robbers. It was thought after Lee had surrendered 
and the soldiers were returning home, that these depreda- 
tions would be discontinued but they were not. 

These marauders were divided into two bands. One. 
led by Simmons, had its headquarters in the Brushy Moun- 
tains, and the other, led by Wade, had its headquarters 
near the Yadkin river in Wilkes county. The bands at 
times operated together, but it is principally with Wade's 
band that this article is to deal. The house which "Wade 
had chosen and fortified was near the road which leads from 


Wilkesboro to Lenoir, in Caldwell county, and about a 
mile from Holinaa's Ford, where the valley road crosses 
the Yadkin river. The house was situated on a high hill, 
commanding a rlne view of the Yadkin valley, and of the 
valley road for a distance of a mile above and a mile be- 
low the ford. The house fronted the river on the south 
while the rear was protected by the "Plat Woods" belt, 
in which there was sympathizers if not aiders and abet- 
tors of the band. From this position the Yadkin valley 
and the surrounding country for at least half a mile in 
every direction could be swept and controlled by Wade's 
guns. There is a legend that this point was chosen by 
Daniel Boone as a splendid military post to protect himself 
against the Indians. At any rate it would have been al- 
most impossible to choose a stronger location, both offensive 
and defensive, than this. The house was built of oak 
logs, and was two stories high. In the upper story Wade 
had cut port holes for his guns, which were army guns of 
the most improved type, and could command the ap- 
proaches to the house from all directions, making it indeed 
hazardous to attempt to reach it. This house belonged to 
some dissolute women by the name of Hamby, and after 
Wade had fortified it, the name by which it was known 
was "Fort Hamby." "The exact number of men engaged 
in these depredations is unknown though it has been stated 
on good authority to have at no time exceeded thirty." 
(Hon. R. Z. Linney, Col. G. W. Flowers.) 

Making this their headquarters, they began to plunder 
the surrounding country, and from their cruelty it appears 
that their object was to gratify a spirit of revenge as well 
as to enrich themselves. They marched as a well-drilled 
military force, armed with the best riHes. It was only a 
short time before they brought the citizens for many miles 
around in every direction under their dominion. They 
plundered the best citizens, subjecting men and women to 
the grossest insults. Their cruelty is shown by this act : 

— 3— 

A woman was working in a field near HolmaiTs Ford, having 
.0 child with her. The phild climbed on the fence and the 
men began to shoot at it, and finally killed it. Embold- 
ened by their success in Wilkes county, they made a raid 
into Caldwell county on the 7th of May. Major Harvey 
Bingham, with about half a dozen young men from Cald- 
well and "Watauga counties, attempted to route these mur- 
derers from their stronghold at Fort Hamby. On Sunday 
night after their raid into Caldwell, Major Bingham made 
a well planned move on the fort, at a late hour of the 
night. For some reason, Wade and his men were not 
aware of the approach of Bingham's men until they had 
entered the house. Wade and his men announced their 
defenseless condition, and begged for their lives. No guns 
were seen, and they were, so Bingham believed, his pris- 
oners. They gave Wade and his men time to dress, after 
which, at a moment when the captors were off their guard, 
they rushed to their guns, which were concealed about 
their beds, and opened fire on them. The result was that 
Clark, a son of General Clark, of Caldwell county, and 
Henley, from the same county, were killed. The others 
escaped, leaving the bodies of Clark and Henley. 

Being encouraged by the failure to dislodge them, they 
began to enlarge the territory which they were to plunder. 
About a week previous to this, Simmons with his band 
had crossed into Alexander county and had made a raid 
on Col. McCurdy, a well-to-do planter. 

About this time Mr. W. C. Green, of Alexander county, 
who had been a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, re- 
ceived news from a friend in Wilkes county that Wade 
had planned to move into Alexander county and make a 
raid on his father. Rev. J. B. Green, and to kill him (W. 
C. Green) if found. Mr. Green began to fortify his house, 
barring all the doors with iron. They also took five ne- 
groes into their confidence and these promised to assist in 
defending the house against Wade. It was found out that 

they had in the house fire-arms enough to shoot eighl -.> 
times without re-loading. Weapons were also provided 
for the negroes. 

Wade started across the Brushy mountains on Saturday, 
May 13th, and reached Mr. Green's that evening about 
dark. Mr. W. C. Green saw a number of men stop their 
horses in the road above the house, and he concluded that 
they were Wade's men. He notified his hither, and mus- 
tered the negroes in the dining hall. All the light- were 
extinguished through the moon was shining brightly. Mr. 
J. B. Green stationed himself at the front door, with a re- 
volver in one hand and a dirk in the other. Mr. W. 0. 
Green took his position at a window commanding a view 
of the front gate and porch. The negroes were stationed 
in the rear part of the house. Three men with guns 
approached the house in the front, one of them being 
Wade who had on a bright Confederate uniform which he 
alwa^rs wore on his raids, posing as a Confederate soldier 
when necessary to gain admission into the houses he wished 
to plunder. The other members of the comrjany took an- 
other route and surrounded the house from the rear, though 
this was not known at the time. Wade pretended that 
that they were confederate soldiers ; that they had belonged 
to the cavalrv and were now on their way home, having 
been detained on account of sickness. Mr. J. B. Green 
told him "he lied, that he knew who he was, and that he 
could not enter his house except over his dead body.' - 

Some of the men had by this time come up from the rear 
and were trying to force an entrance. When this fact was 
made known to Mr. W. C. Green by one of the negroes. 
he rushed to the rear, knocked out a pane of glass and 
opened lire on them, wounding one of the men. This un- 
expected turn of affairs seemed to frighten them and they 
all began to retire. Mr. J. B. Green and Mr. W. C. Green 
rushed into the yard and opened fire on them as they re- 
treated. Wade and his men at the same time returning 

the lire. They retreated so rapidly that two of the men 
left their horses. 

ft was Sunday morning before the news was circnl 
Mr. W. Gv Green went to York Collegiate Institute and 
informed several men, and by 10 o'clock twenty-two men, 
almost all of them Confederate soldiers, had gathered, 
ready to pursue the robbers. In this party were several 
officers of the Confederate army and they were dressed in 
their uniforms. Col. Wash. Sharpe was placed in command 
of the squad and they stalled in pursuit. The first news 
from Wade was when they reached -Law's Crap." Here 
it was found that Wade had camped in the Brushy moun- 
tains part of the night after the attack on Mr. Green, and 
about sunrise the next morning had made a raid on Mr. 
Laws and forced him to give up his money. He informed 
the party that two of Wade's men were wounded. The 
pursuers followed the trail and found that live miles from 
Wiikesboro Wade's men had left the public road and had 
taken a shorter route by way of Hix's Mill and Holman's 
ford to Fort Hamby. The ford was reached in the even- 
ing of May 14th, and after crossing the river, and traveling 
along the public road for about half a mile, the pursuing 
party left the public road and followed a private road 
which led to a creek at the base of the hill on which the 
Hamby house stood. "In the plan of attack, part of the 
company under Col. G. W. Flowers was to approach from 
the north while the other part under Capt. Ellis, was to 
approach from the south, and then surround the house. 
In the enthusiasm of the moment all seemed to forget the 
danger. Col. Flowers' men had gotten within 75 yards, 
and Capt. Ellis' men within 20 yards of the house when 
its defenders poured a volley of minnie balls through the 
port holes/' (Hon. R. Z. Linney.) James K. Linney and 
Jones Brown were killed. Linney had charged bravely 
across the tield and was killed on the east side of the house : 
Brown was charging np the hill on the west side when he 

— G— 

was wounded. Some of the men were compelled to jump 
from their Looses and throw themselves on the ground in 
order to escape being shoe down. Their horses became 
frightened and breaking loose from them, ran to where 
Wade's men had their horses. Two of these horses were 
the ones captured from Wade at Mr. Green's. These men 
did not recover their horses at this time. 

Under the severe tire the men were compelled to re- 
treat. The force was now divided, part having fallen hack 
across the creek, and part having reached the pines east of 
the building. There was no chance to re-unite, and after 
waiting until dark, the men withdrew, some reaching Mo- 
ravian Falls that night. These met the others at "'Squire" 
Hubbard's the next morning. In retreating under the se- 
vere fire from the fort, the men were compelled to leave 
the bodies of Linney and Brown. Wade's men after- 
wards buried them near the fort. 

These men returned to Alexander county and raised a 
large company, a strong force having been brought from 
Iredell county under the command of Wallace Sharpe. 
On Wednesday the force started towards Fort Hamby. 
After crossing Cove's Gap, a courier was sent back to Ire- 
dell county to request Capt. Cowan to raise a company and 
come to their assistance ; also, another courier was sent to 
Statesville to an encampment of Federal soldiers to inform 
them of the condition of things and to ask their assistance. 
Before reaching Moravian Falls, they received a message 
from Wade, saying, * k Come on; I am looking for you ; 
I can whip a thousand of you." It was dark when Hol- 
man's ford was reached. Some one in the woods before 
the company, ordered them to halt. The men thought that 
the order was from some of Wade's band and was about to 
lire upon them, when it was found out that this was a com- 
pany from Caldwell county, under the command of Capt. 
Isaac Oxford, on the same mission. They had encamped 
near the ford and had thrown out their sentinels. The two 


companies camped together that night, and the next morn- 
ing marched up the river and crossed at a small lord. 
They came to the house of Mr. Talbert, who lived on the 
public road, and there they lound a woman dying. .She 
had been shot the day before by the men from the fort, 
while she and her husband were coming to the ford in a 
wagon, on the opposite side of the river from the fort — 
nearly a mile distant. 

Mr. Talbert begged the men to return, telling them that 
Wade was expecting them, and had sent for re-enforce- 
ments. He told them that it was impossible to dislodge 
him, and to make an attempt and fail would make it worse 
for the people. 

Capt. K. M. Sharpe, of Alexander county, assumed com- 
mand of both companies, numbering several hundred men. 
W. R. Gweltney was sent with a small body of men to 
reach a high hill, overlooking a creek (Lenoir's Fork), and 
to remain there while all the others marched around to 
the north and east of the fort. Gwaltney's men were to 
be notified by the firing of a gun, when the main body had 
reached their position. One or two men were seen to es- 
cape from the fort before it could be surrounded. They 
were fired at but escaped. The supposition was that they 
had gone to get re -enforcements from the other band. The 
companies had left their encampment before day, and by 
daybreak the fort was surrounded, the men being placed 
about twenty steps apart. The soldiers kept up the fire on 
the fort during the day and night. Wade's men return- 
ing the fire, shooting with great accuracy. The soldiers 
were compelled to keep behind logs and trees, or out of 
range of the guns. It seemed impossible to take the fort. 
''Some of the bravest men were in favor of giving it up, 
while others said death was preferable to being run over by 
such devils.'' (Rev. W. R. G-waltney.) 

This state of affairs continued until the night of the 
19th, when the lines were moved nearer up, and about 4 

— 8— 

o'clock in the morning Wallace Sharpe, W. A. Daniel, M. 
W. Hill, and J. L. MiHsaps crept from their posts to a 
crib where the robbers had tied their horses and unued 
them, after which they were led away. From the crib 
these men crept up to the kitchen. It was found that some 
of Wade's men had prepared breakfast, but were com- 
pelled to leave it. The kitchen was set on tire, and the 
flames soon reached the fortress. The fact that the build- 
ing was on tire seemed to completely unnerve Wade's men. 
"What terms will you give us?'' cried out Wade. i; We 
will shoot you," replied Sharpe, from behind the burning- 
kit chen. 

It was now about daybreak, and some of the men sur- 
rounding the fort began to rush up. Wade made a rush 
towards the river, through a body of Caldwell men, who 
opened lire on him, but as it was yet a little dark, he es- 
caped. Four men were captured, Beck, Church, Loock- 
wad, and one whose name cannot be ascertained. The 
flames which had caught the fort were extinguished, and 
in the house was found property of almost every descrip- 
tion. Fine ladies' dresses and bonnets had been taken for 
the dissolute women who occupied the house. About twenty 
horses were found stabled near the fort. Some of the 
property was restored to the owners. The men who were 
captured plead for a trial according to the course and prac- 
tice of the courts. They were informed that they would 
be disposed of as summarily as they had disposed of Clark, 
Henley, Brown and Linney. Stakes were put up, and on 
the way to the place of execution they were given time to 
pray. They knelt down to pray, but the prayer was "O, 
men, spare us." Wallace Sharpe replied: "Men, pray to 
Jesus. He alone can save you." Capt. Sharpe recpiested 
W. E. Gwaltney to pray, but he replied that he never felt so 
little like praying in his life. ("apt. Isaac Oxford said. 
t; If you will hold my gun I will pray;" but instead of 
praying for the men, he thanked God that they were to be 




brought to justice and that none of the party had been 
killed. Alter this Rev. W. R. Gwaltney offered an earn- 
est prayer for them, and then they were shot, ; 'as nearly 
in strict conformity to military usage as these old Confed- 
erate soldies, under the excitement of the occasion could 
conform to." 

After the prisoners were shot, the fort was set on tire. 
When the liames reached the cellar, the tiring of guns was 
like a hot skirmish. Wade's men had stored away a great 
many loaded guns, and a large quantity of ammunition. 

Wade was seen in the vicinity several days after. He 
claimed to have been a major in Stoneman's command and 
a native of Michigan. He said that he had escaped to the 
Yadkin river from the fort and had hid under the banks 
until night ; that in searching for him the soldiers had fre- 
quently come within six feet of him. 

On the way back to Alexander county Capt, Cowan, 
from Iredell, was met with a small body of men on their 
way to Fort Hamby. Also a company of Federal troops, 
then stationed in Statesville, were met on their way to the 
fort. They were told what had been done. "The captain 
ordered three cheers, which the men gave with a good 
wilL* 5 (Dr. W. C. Green.) 

The bodies of Linney and Brown were brought back home 
for final burial. 

Though all the desx)eradoes were not brought to justice, 
this completely broke up their depredations. 

Robt. L. Flowees. 







{fill KLUX CLAN. 

The most interesting epoch in the history of the South 
is that period from 1805 to 1870, known as the "Recon- 
struction Era." After the surrender at Appomattox our 
fathers returned to their homes and began to gather up the 
fragments of the social, civil and political wreck, in order 
to form them into institutions to suit their new conditions 
of life. The difficulties under which they labored were 
extreme. They had to contend, first, with their own preju- 
dices as a proud, though conquered, people ; second, the char- 
acter of those agents of the United States government, who 
were, many of them, mere adventurers, without the best 
interests of the South at heart ; third, the class of unprin- 
cipled men of our own country whom the fortunes of war 
had placed in: power; fourth, the negro race, so recently 
slaves, now masters of themselves, and without the capa- 
bility of using their liberty. Add to these the complete 
upheaval of society, in which some of its worst elements. 
for a time, floated upon the surface, also the passions of 
war and lawlessness still rampant in the hearts of men, 
and you will have some faint idea of the problems that 
confronted the Southern people. 

It was during this period and under these circumstances 
that the Ku Klux Clan came into existence, spread from 
Texas to Virginia, and passed out of life, as it had come, 
shrouded in mystery. As a secret organization it kept its 
secret, despite the decrees of States, the investigating com- 
mittee of Congress, and the torture of its individual mem- 

However much men may become educated, there is still 
something in their natures over which the wierd and the 
unknown wields a mysterious power, while over the ignor- 
ant and the lawless -it is doubly potent. This movement 
was peculiar to the time and illustrates this power of the 
silent and the mvsterious. It also illustrates how men 


may, by the instruments of their own creation, be borne 
into lines of action wholly foreign to their first intention-. 

"The popular idea supposes the Ku Klux movement to 
have been conceived in malice, and nursed by prejudice 
and hate, for lawlessness, rapine and murder.*' Many of 
the incidents which occurred daring that dark period con- 
firm this view. (Mr. Tourgee's book treating of this 
period, and many of the chapters in "Three Decades of 
Federal Legislation/' by Sunset Cox, strenuously uphold 
this idea of the Ku Klux organization). The object of this 
paper is to get at the real facts, and by them arrive at a 
true estimate of the character and objects of this celebrated 

Pulaski. Tennessee, a town of about three thousand in- 
habitants, was the birthplace of the "Ku Klux Clan.'' It 
is the county seat of Giles, one of the southern counties of 
Middle Tennessee, and is situated on the Louisville, Xash- 
ville and Great Southern R. 11., almost directly south of 
Nashville. Before the war its people were cultured and 
wealthy. The war destroyed their wealth, but their cul- 
ture is retained, and it is a town of schools and churches. 
It's inhabitants show none of those traits which the popu- 
lar idea would ascribe to the people among whom the Ku 
Klux originated. "There, in 1866, the name of Ku Klux 
first fell from human lips." This organization was the 
result of the peculiar social, civil and political condition of 
the South from the close of the war to 1869. 

After the struggle was over, the young men of Pulaski, 
like many other Southern men, passed through a period of 
inactivity. Business habits were broken up ; few had the 
capital to enter at once upon agricultural or commercial 
pursuits. 'There were no amusements or social recreations 
to relieve the intense reaction which followed the exciting 
scenes of war. In May, 1866, a few of these young men 
happened to be together in the office of one of the leading 
members of the Pulaski bar. Sometime in the evening 


during the conversation one of them remarked: "Boys, 

let us get up a club or society of some description." A 
lively discussion followed, and before separating they 
agreed to invite some others, and to meet again in the same 
place. On the following evening eight or ten young men 
assembled and effected a temporary organization by the 
election of a chairman and secretary. The members were 
all agreed as to the objects of the organization, which were 
diversion and amusement. They spent the evening in dis- 
cussing the best methods of attaining these ends. They 
also appointed two committees, one to select a name, and 
the other to draw up the rules for the society, and to form 
the ritual for the initiation of new members. The club 
then adjourned to meet the following week. 

Mr. Tourgee ridicules the idea of amusement connected 
with this movement, and cites the pride and dignity of the 
Southern men. He speaks of them as suddenly becoming 
a "race of jesters, moonlight masqueraders and personators 
of the dead. It was a funny thing, ' ' he says, i; for the 
gravest, most saturnine and self-conscious people on the 
globe to make themselves ridiculous, ghostly masqueraders 
by the hundred thousand.-' He, as well as many others, 
was laboring under a mistake as to the number of the Ku 
Klux, nor does he take into account the factors which 
afterward entered into the organization. He did not un- 
derstand the character of the movement, nor did he realize 
that there was a great and noble purpose behind those 
fantastic gowns. As for his opinions of the Southern 
people, his views are extremely prejudiced. 

During the week following the last meeting, a prominent 
citizen of Pulaski went to Columbus, Miss., on business, 
taking his familv with him. He invited one of the leading 
spirits of the movement to take care of and sleep at his 
house. This young man invited the club to meet with him 
there, which they did ; and the owner, who outlived the 
Ku Klux Clan, never knew that his house had been their 

meeting place. The house afterward came into the hands 
of Judge H. M. Spoflbrd, and is still the home of his 

The committee appointed to select a name had some 
difficulty in deciding upon one which would represent the 
character and objects of the society. Among those pre- 
sented for consideration was that of "Kukloi," from the 
Greek word Kuklos, meaning a band or circle, whereupon 
some one exclaimed, call it Ku Klux. Clan was after- 
wards added to complete the alliteration. Thus, instead 
of their first intention, they had chosen a name meaning- 
less to themselves as to every one- else. It is true that 
Shakespeare says, " What's in a name? that which we call 
a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, " but it is 
doubtful if the organization would have ever reached such 
large proportions and wielded so great a power had it been 
called by some commonplace name, signifying its character 
and objects. ^tram^e as it mav seem, the members them- 
selves were the first to feel its wierd effect, and began to 
shaoe their plans in harmonv with the name thev had 

Amusement was still their object, but now it was to be 
sought by means of secrecy and mystery ; so, when the 
committee on rules reported, the plan was modified accord- 
ingly. These are the officers of the plan finally adopted : 
*<A Grand Cyclops, or President; a Grand Magi, or Vice- 
President ; a Grand Turk, or Marshal ; a Grand Exchequer, 
or Treasurer, and two Lictors." The latter were the sen- 
tinels of the "Den," as they called their place of meeting. 

The obligation for membership was to maintain profound 
secrecy with reference to the order and everything pertain- 
ing to it. They were not allowed to tell that they were 
Ku Klux, nor were they allowed to disclose the name of 
any member. It was against the constitution to invite 
any one to join the order. However, a member might say 
to some desirable man, "I am going to join the Ku Klux." 


If the person expressed a desire to do likewise the member 
would say: "Well', I think I know how to get in. Meet 
me at such a place, on such a night, at such an hour, and 
we will join together.'' 

1 'Each member was required to provide himself with the 
following outfit : A white mask for the face, with holes for 
the eyes and nose ; a tall fantastic cardboard hat so con- 
structed as to increase the wearer's apparent height; a 
gown or robe of sufficient length to cover the entire per- 
son." As to color and style, each used his individual 
taste in selecting the most hideous and grotesque patterns. 
Each member carried a small whistle? by which they commu- 
nicated with each other according to a selected code of sig- 
nals. Such preparations bear the stamp of amusement and 
pranks and not of deviltry. Some may wonder where the 
fun came in. First, in arousing curiosity and then in baf- 
fling it ; second, in the initiation of members. 

The initiations at first took place in the law office, but it 
was small and situated in the business part of the town, 
and there was much danger of interruption from outsiders. 
However, the members soon found a more suitable place 
for their meetings. On a ridge west of the town there once 
stood a large mansion, wdth a brick front or main building, 
and an "L w built of wood. In December, 1865, a cyclone 
destroyed the main building, leaving the "L" standing:. 
It consisted of three rooms, from one of which a stairway 
led to a large cellar beneath. This they selected as their 
"den," and a ghostly place it must have been ; a lonely 
wind-swept ridge, with the trees uprooted and torn by the 
storm, standing like gaunt spectres of death overlooking 
the dark, deserted cellar. 

When a meeting was held one Lictor was stationed in 
front of the house and the other about fifty yards on the 
road coming out from Pulaski. Each of them, dressed in 
their fantastic robes, bore a great spear as the badge of 
their office. 


When a candidate was to be initiated, he and the mem- 
ber approached the first Lictor, who, after asking some 
questions, blew his whistle for the other to come and take 
charge of the novices. The candidate was then blind- 
folded, under the impression that his companion was 
treated likewise. He was then led around through the 
three rooms and down into the cellar, different objects 
being placed before him from time to time, which added, 
at least, to his discomfort. The obligation of secrecy was 
then administered, and a series of more or less absurd 
questions was asked. After this the Grand Cyclops com- 
manded : "Place him before the royal altar and adorn his 
head with the regal crown.'' The ; -royal altar" was a 
looking-glass. The u regal crown" was a huge hat, be- 
decked with two enormous donkey ears. "In this head- 
gear the candidate was placed before the mirror and 
directed to repeat the couplet:" 

"O wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us." 

As he uttered the last words the Grand Turk removed 
the bandage from his eyes, and he beheld his own ludicrous 
image in the glass. This was a signal for all the members 
to engage in shouts of laughter. 

In the early history of the order they were very careful 
about the character of those initiated, as a single unreliable 
man could have spoiled all the fun by divulging their 
secrets. Some of their methods in disposing of undesir- 
able candidates are amusing. In one instance they had 
the candidate to meet them on top of a long slope, just 
back of the town. Without being blindfolded, he was led 
before the Grand Cyclops, who, being mounted on a stump 
so that his robe concealed it, appeared fully ten feet tall. 
After asking him some questions, the Grand Cyclops 
ordered the Lictors to blindfold the candidate and pro- 
ceed ; whereupon they proceeded to put him into a large 
barrel and to start the barrel rolling down the hill. 


These details show the early character of the organiza- 
tion, ami that its originators had no idea, of lawlessness, 
or of the powerMi character it afterwards assumed. 

During the months of July and August, 1866, the Ku 
Klux mystery was the topic of the day in and around 
Pulaski. Newspapers and excited tongues scattered the 
news abroad over the country, so that, about the time all 
the eligible material in the town was used up, young men 
from the country, impelled by curiosity, came to join The 
order. These soon asked permission to establish t; dens" 
in the country, which, although no- provision had been 
made for it, was granted. Thus w -dens' ' were established 
in the surrounding country with various modifications of 
the Ritual, but with the same injunction of secrecy, mys- 
tery, and the character of the men admitted. 

During the latter part of the year 1866 the Clan spread 
rapidly. A stranger, visiting one of the "infected" 
regions, would be initiated, and return home with permis- 
sion to establish a "den' ' in his own neighborhood. Under 
this method of organization, the links between the various 
Clans were not very strong; but, by a sort of common 
agreement, the Grand Cyclops of the Pulaski "den'- was 
considered the head of the order. So far, there was no 
need of strong organization, as amusement was still the 
chief end in view. The members enjoyed the wild specu- 
lations of the mystified public even more than the rough 
sport of initiating candidates. 

Such is the history of the Ku Klux Clan from June, 
1866, to April, 1867 ; but during all this time it had been 
gradually taking on new features, which finally trans- 
formed it into a band of "Regulators." The transforma- 
tion was brought about by several causes : ; 6 (1) The impres- 
sion made by the order upon the minds of those who united 
with it ; (2) the impression made upon the public by its 
wierd and mysterious methods ; (3) the anomalous and 
peculiar condition of affairs in the South at that time." 



The popular idea was that the order had a great mission 
in view, and, with this idea, many sought connection with 
it, and after initiation this conviction was deepened rather 
than dissipated by the sport. Though there was nothing 
in the ritual to indicate it, the high-sounding titles, the 
wonderful dress and the formidable obligation seemed to 
indicate more than mere sport. 

The second cause of the transformation was the impres- 
sion of the Clan upon the public. At first there were 
many travelers along the road by the deserted house upon 
the hill. These generally passed the grim and ghostly 
Lictor in silence and as hurriedly as possible. Sometimes 
one would ask, "Who are you?" "In awful sepulchral 
tones, the invariable answer was, <A spirit from the other 
world. I was killed at Chicamauga.' " An answer like 
this, amid such surroundings, with the "den" in the dis- 
tance, from which issued such strange, unearthly sounds, 
w r as calculated to inspire fear, especially if the person was 
a superstitious negro. Such incidents as this, both in the 
town and country, soon gave rise to innumerable stories, 
which soon had their effect upon the public. Xight travel 
in Ku Klux localities ceased, and the negroes were espe- 
cially quiet wherever the Ku Klux made their appearance. 
In this way the members came to realize the wonderful 
power of their methods over the minds of men. .They soon 
saw, also, how much good might be done among certain 
classes for the welfare of the country and the protection of 

The most powerful of the causes of transformation was 
* the condition of the South, because it furnished the foun- 
dation for the other two. Few have realized fully the 
peculiar state of affairs at the South during this period. 
The world has passed sentence upon the South and upon 
the Ku Klux. without considering the circumstances by 
which they were surrounded. There were two causes of 
trouble and vexation which the people were not in a mood 


to tolerate, one of which was a class of unprincipled men 
whom the great upheaval had cast upon the surface of 
society. Not simply because they were Union men, as 
Mr. Tourgee would have us believe, but because they were 
traitors to both sides, and sought only their own ends, 
were they hated. They strove to keep alive the hatred 
and bitterness between the factions, in order that they 
might remain in power. Their effect upon the social, civil 
and political institutions of the South was disastrous in 
the extreme. 

Another class was that of the newly freed negroes. 
Suddenly passing from slaves to citizens, they mistook 
liberty for license, and were totally incapable of using 
their liberty in the right way. The negro looked upon 
liberty as freeing him. not only from his master, but from 
the laws made by his master. The Union League was also 
a very important factor as furnishing a means of uniting 
the negroes under the leadership of bad white men. 

Civil law was very partially executed, and there was an 
amount of lawlessness hitherto unknown in the South. 
"Under their fear of the dreaded Kn Klux, the negroes 
made more progress in a few months in the needed lessons 
of self-control, industry, respect for the rights of property 
and general good behavior, than they would have done in 
as many years, but for this or some equally powerful im- 

Up to the beginning of the year 1867, the performances 
of the Ku Klux were mostly within the bounds of reason, 
but in some cases they had overstepped those bounds. 
Bad men had gotten into the organization, and, in order to 
control them, it became imperatively necessary to organize 
the Clan on a more thorough basis, so as to remedy the 
evils which had crept into the order. With this object in 
view, the Grand Cyclops of the Pulaski "den" sent out a 
request for all the "dens" to send delegates to a conven- 
tion to be held in Nashville earlv in the summer of 1S67. 


The convention met and adopted a plan of organization, 
which, but for one source of weakness, made this "one of 
the most perfectly organized orders that ever existed in the 

The whole territory covered by the Clan was called the 
''Invisible Empire.'' This was divided into "realms," 

S corresponding to the States. The realms were divided into 

"dominions" coterminous with the counties, and the 
dominions into k k dens. ' ' Officers were assigned to each de- 
partment, and, except the supreme officer, their duties 
were minutely specified. These officers were as follows : 
"The Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire and his ten 
Genii ; the Grand Dragon of the Realm and his eight Hy- 
dras ; the Grand Titan of the Dominion and his six Furies ; 
the Grand Cyclops of the Den and his two Xight Hawks ; 
a Grand Monk ; a Grand Scribe ; a Grand Exchequer ; a 
Grank Turk and a Grand Sentinel.*' 

The most important action taken by the Xashville con- 
vention was the declaration of the principles of the order, 
which was as follows: "We recognize our relations to the 
United States government ; the supremacy of the constitu- 
tion ; the constitutional laws thereof ; and the union of the 
States thereunder. ' ' If these men were banded together 
for the overthrow of all law and government, this is indeed 
a strange declaration, for it was not meant for general cir- 
culation or for its effect. We must accept it as a declara- 
tion of their political relations to the government of the 

This convention also defined the objects of the order, 
which were as follows : 

(1.) "To protect the weak, the innocent, and the defence- 
less, from the indignities, wrongs and outrages of the law- 
less, the violent and the brutal ; to relieve the injured and 
the oppressed ; to succor the suffering, and especially the 
widows and orphans of Confederate soldiers. 

(2.) ' 'To protect and defend the Constitution of the Unit- 


ed States, and all laws passed in conformity thereto, and 
to protect the states and people thereof from all invasion 
from any source whatever. 

(3.) "To aid and assist in the execution of all constitu- 
tional laws, and to protect the people from unlawful seizure, 
and from trial except by their peers in conformity to the 
laws of the land," 

This last declaration was the result of the infamous leg- 
islation and the more infamous execution of law in the 
South during that period. Those familiar with the history 
of our state will acknowledge the great need for some such 
organization, with just such purpose as the above, during 
the days when Kirk and his men were part of the execu- 
tive department of the State. Whatever history may say, 
the Ku Klux was almost a necessity at the South during 
the reconstruction for the protection of life, liberty and the 
rights of prosperity. 

As before stated the main object of the Xashville con- 
vention was to secure a better control of their own mem- 
bers, so as to prevent outrages credited, whether rightly or 
not, to the Ku Klux. 

Their great object now was to carry out their role of Reg- 
ulators within the limits of law and order. Their methods 
were to remain the same. Secrecy and mystery were to be 
the instruments for securing law and order among the law- 
less and the ignorant. Steps were taken to deepen the 
powerful impressions already made on the public. Every 
device was used to play upon the fears of the superstitious. 
Therefore the Grand Dragon of the State of Tennessee 
sent out an order to the chief officers of the 'provinces' for 
a general parade in the streets of the chief town in each 
province on the night of July 4, 1867. (The account of 
this parade in the town of Pulaski will describe them all.) 

On the morning of the appointed day, July 4, 1867, the 
citizens of Pulaski found slips of paper scattered along their 
sidewalks with the following words printed on them : '-The 


Ku Klux will parade the streets to-night." This announce- 
meat created the wildest excitement. The long pent-up cu- 
riosty of the people was to be satisfied. They would. at least, 
find out who the Ku Klux were. Many people came in from 
the country to witness the parade. The Ku Klux also 
started to the town. Having carefully concealed their par- 
aphernalia, they traveled in squads of three or four, and, 
if questioned, they answered that they were going to Pu- 
laski to see the parade. After dark they assembled, by 
previous agreement, at four points near the four main 
roads leading into the town, and put on their disguises and 
robes. Their horses were also disguised in flashy colored 
cloth. A sky-rocket sent up was the signal to move. ' 'The 
different companies met and passed each other in the pub- 
lic square in perfect silence ; the discipline appeared per- 
fect. Not a word was spoken. Orders were given by 
means of the whistles. In single-tile, in death-like still- 
ness, with funeral slowness they marched and counter- 
marched throughout the town. * ' By marching in unbroken 
circles up one street and down another they created the im- 
pression of vast numbers. This was kept up for two hours, 
and the Ku Klux departed as silently as they came, • -The 
public were more mystified than ever, curiosity had not 
been satisfied/' It had found out absolutely nothing. 

One of the principal illusions growing out of this parade 
was the impression of numbers. The coolest judgments 
placed it at three thousand, while some went up to ten 
thousand ; when in fact there were only four hundred men 
in this parade. This has been a common mistake. Gen. 
Forest before the investigating committee, placed the num- 
ber of Ku Klux in the South at 550,000, which must be a 
mistake, as it is hardly probable that the whole male popu- 
lation of the South were Ku Klux, or that a majority of 
them knew anything about the order, except from com- 
mon report. 

Some of the devices resorted to bv the Ku Klux for ter- 


rifying tlie negroes and others were unique. Daring the 

parade at Pulaski, as it was passinga corner where a negro 
was stand tag, one of the horseman, dressed in a hideous garb, 

dismounted and stretched out his bridal rein to the negro 
as if he wished him to hold his horse. The frightened 
darky held out his hand to receive it. and. as he did so, 
the Ku Klux took off his own head, apparently , and offer- 
ed to place that also in the extended hand. '-The negro 
stood not upon the order of his going but departed with a 
yell of terror.'' Another trick was for a ghostly looking 
horseman to stop before the cabin of some negro need- 
ing a wholesome lesson, and ask for a drink of water. If 
agonrd or dipper was brought it was declined, and a bucket 
of water demanded. Then, as if burning with thirst, the 
Ku Klux would press the bucket to his lips until the last 
drop was drained into an oiled sack concealed beneath his 
robe. He then returned the empty bucket with the remark, 
* 'That's good. It is the first drink of water I have had 
since I was killed at Shiloh." This, with a few words of 
admonition as to future conduct, made an impression not 
soon forgotten by the superstitious darky. 

We now come to a second transformation of the Ku Klux ; 
this time from a band of "Regulators" to a combination of 
desperate men struggling for life and honor against the 
worst elements of their own order, and against circum- 
stances growing out of their own methods. The causes of 
this transformation may be classed under three heads : 
(1.) "Unjust charges. (2.) Misapprehension of the na- 
ture and objects of the order on the part of those not mem- 
bers of it. (3.) Unwise and over severe legislation." 

What had been their strength become now their weak- 
ness. Outsiders and even members themselves made use 
of their methods of secrecy to practice deception upon other 
people and upon the Clan itself. Bad men made use of 
the disguise to perpetrate deeds of violence for personal 
reasons, and the odium fell upon the Ku Klux. These 


n did not do the e things under orders of the Clan, nor 
in connection with it. 

The very class whom the Clan was trying to keep in order 
made use of its methods to commit outrages which were 
credited to the Clan. These men always declared them- 
selves to be Ku Klux, which members of the Clan never 
did. In every case they proved to be negroes or "radi- 
cal " supporters of the carpet bagger governments. '-Xo 
single instance occurred of the arrest of a masked man 
w r ho proved to be — when stripped of his disguise — a Ku 
Klux.*' (See testimony of Gen. Gordon and others before 
the Investigation Committe.) 

However, the Clan was credited with all the disorders in 
the country, because the disguises which it had invented 
were used, audit had no way of clearing itself of the accus- 
ations. It had sought to clothe itself in mystery, and, as a 
consequence, people misunderstood its objects. They did not 
realize the great end it had in view. After the awe of the 
ignorant and lawless had subsided, hatred of the Clan took 
its place. The negroes organized and went armed for the 
purpose of exterminating the Ku Klux, and on several oc- 
casions the Clan was tired into. This brought on the ven- 
gance of the Clan, and so it went on, each side believing it 
was right and the other wrong. This misunderstanding is 
well brought out in the following order issued by the Grand 
Dragon of Tennessee, in the fall of 1868 : 

Headquarters Realm No, 1. ) 

Dreadful Era, Black Epoch. - 
Dreadful Hour. ) 
General Order No. 1. 

Whereas, information of an authentic character has 
reached these headquarters that the blacks in the counties 
of Marshall, Maurv, Giles and Lawrence are organized into 
military companies, with the avowed purposes to make war 
upon and exterminate the Ku Klux Clan; said blacks are 


hereby solemnly warned and ordered to desist from further 
action in such organizations, if they exist. 

The Grand Dragon regrets the necessity of such an order. 
But this Clan shall not be outraged and interfered with by 
lawless nesross and meaner white men, who do not and 
never have understood our purposes. 

In the first place this Clan is not an institution of vio- 
lence, lawlessness and cruelty ; it is not lawless ; it is not 
aggressive: it is not military; it is not revolutionary. 

It is essentially, originally and inherently a protective 
organization. It proposes to execute law instead of resist- 
ing it ; and to protect all good men, whether white or 
black, from the outrages and atrocities of bad men of both 
colors, who have been for the past three years a terror to 
society, and an injury to us all. 

The blacks seem to be impressed with the belief that this 
Clan is especially their enemy. We are not the enemy of 
the blacks, as long as they behave themselves, make no 
threats upon us, and do not attack or interfere with us. 
But if they make war npon ns they must abide the 
awfnl retribution that will follow. 

This Clan, while in its peaceful movements, and dis- 
turbing no one, has been tired into three times. This will 
not be endured any longer: and if it occurs again, and the 
parties be discovered, a remorseless vengeance will be 
wreaked upon them. 

We reiterate that we are for peace and law and order. 
No man, white or black, shall be molested for his jxditical 
sentiments. This Clan is not a political party ; it is not a 
military party; it is a protective organization, and will 
never use violence except in resisting violence. 

Outrages have been perpetrated by irresponsible parties 
in the name of this Clan. Should such x^arties be appre- 
hended, they will be dealt with in a manner to insure us 
future exemption from such imposition. These impostors 
have, in some instances, whipped negroes. This is wronj? ! 


wrong ! It is denounced by this Clan, as it must be by all 
good and humane men. 

The Clan now, as in the past, is prohibited from doing 
such things. We are striving to protect all good, peace- 
ful, well-disposed and law-abiding men, whether white or 

The Grand Dragon deems this order due to the public, 
due to the Clan, and due to those who are misguided and 
misinformed. We, therefore, request that all newspapers 
who are friendly to law and peace and the public welfare, 
will publish the same. By order of 

The Grand Dragon or Realm: No. 1. 

By the Grand Scribe. 

Matters continued to grow from bad to worse, until it 
became necessary for the government to interfere, and we 
have the famous "Anti-Ku Klux law," passed in Tennes- 
see in 1868. This law was severe in the extreme. The 
following are some of its principle features : 

(1.) "It was ex post facto. 

(2.) "It presented no way in which a man could relieve 
himself of liability to it, except by turning informer, and, 
as an inducement to do this, a large bribe was offered. 

(3.) It encouraged strife by making every inhabitant 
of the State an officer extraordinary, with power i ; to arrest 
without process, ' ' when he had ground to suspect. 

(4.) It emphasized loyalty to the government, which 
meant simply to become a subservient tool ; such men as 
Gov. Brownlow, Gov. Holden and their tribe. 

(5.) While the law professed to be aimed at suppres- 
sion of all lawlessness, it was not so construed and enforced 
by the party in power. Xo attempt was made to suppress 
the "Union" or "Loyal League," which met often and was 
as lawless as the Ku Klux. 

Many of the States passed laws making it easy to secure 
military rule in any section, which in many cases was done, 


and a perfect reign of terror followed. The Ku Klux felt 
th&m :;ive5 outlawed without an opportunity of defending 
themselves openly, and hence some of their rashest actions, 

But be it said to their honor, they bore it more patiently 
than would have been expected under the circumstances. 

Early in the year 1869 it was decided best for the Clan 
to disband, and a proclamation was issued from the 
"Grand Wizard of the Empire to his subjects." This 
proclamation stated the legislation against the Ku Klux. 
and declared that the order had now accomplished the 
greater part of the objects for which it had existed. "At 
a time when the civil law afforded inadequate protection 
to life and property ; when robbery and lawlessness of 
every description were unrebuked; when all the better 
elements of society were in constant dread for the safety of 
their property, persons and families, the Clan had afforded 
protection and security to many firesides, and in many 
ways contributed to the public welfare. But greatly to 
the regret of all good citizens, some members of the Clan 
had violated positive orders ; others, under the name and 
disguises of the organization, had assumed to do acts of 
violence, for which the Clan was held responsible. " 

Members were directed to destroy all the paraphernalia 
of the order, and were counseled to uphold the law. and 
aid all good citizens, in the future, as in the past. 

The proclamation of disbandment was issued to all the 
Realms, Dominions, and Dens of the Invisible Empire. 
But, as the newspapers were forbidden to publish anything 
from the Ku Klux, and the Dens were scattered over many 
states, this proclamation was long in reaching some of them. 
In this state there were many deeds attributed to the Ku 
Klux long after the proclamation of disbandment, but the 
order had no organized existence after March, 1S69. 

"Thus lived, so died, this strange order. Its birth was 
an accident ; its growth a comedy ; its death a tragedy. 
It owed its existence wholly to the anomalous condition of 


social and civil affairs in the South during the years imme- 
diately succeeding the unfortunate contest in which so 
many brave men in blue and gray fell, martyrs to their 
convictions." Sandeks Dent. 

Note.— In the preparation of this paper I have referred freely to 'The 
Ku Klux Klan" by J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson. S. S. D. 


Our many centennial celebrations within the past score 
of years, culminating in the glories of the 400th anniver- 
sary of the voyage of Columbus, have awakened a wide- 
spread interest in early American history, and in all the 
incidents connected with the Genesis of the United States. 
Patriotic associations, both of men and women, have 
sprung up throughout the country, whose aim is to en- 
courage research among our annals, and to cherish a spirit 
of reverence for our historic past. Many, too, are looking 
anxiously at the possible effect upon our institutions and 
national character of the dangerous experiment of absorb- 
ing into the body politic the heterogeneous elements of all 
Europe; and the tendency of this trend of thought and 
study is to emphasize anew the fact of our Anglican origin, 
and to bring home to us vividly the truth that we owe 
what we are as a nation to our English blood and traditions. 

Monuments have been erected to mark various historic 
spots, and now on the coast of California, where in 1579 
anchored the fleet of Sir Francis Drake, in his memorable 
circumnavigation of the globe — (the next after that of 
Magellan) — and where his chaplain, Francis Fletcher, held 
the Anglican service on the shore for the crews and the 
savage natives — there is rising a large stone cross — a con- 

*The quotations in the text, unless otherwise stated, are from Hakluyt's 
Voyages, Vol. III. For a discussion of the fate of the lost colony, see an 
article by Prof. S. B. Weeks of Trinity College, North Carolina, in the pa- 
pers of the American Historical Society, Vol. V. 


spicuous landmark as seen from the ocean in bold relief 
against tlie sky on a high rocky cliff — which will ever 
stand as a silent but eloquent memorial of the first Amer- 
ican rites of the national church of that people who w ere 
destined to be the masters of this great continent. 

To me it seemed of supreme importance to rescue from 
oblivion the sacred place where our fathers first worshiped 
God on the Atlantic coast, where they made the hrst 
English homes in the Xew World, and where was the 
cradle of our civilization. It is on Xorth Carolina soil, 
and will you not uphold my hands in the good work ? A 
small sum will secure possession of the precious site, and 
we can hand it down as a priceless heirloom to our 

Let us read together the pathetic old story of romantic 
adventure, of manly fortitude, of disaster and death, pre- 
facing it with the striking prediction of one of the early 
navigators : 

"It seemeth probable that the countreys lying Xorth of 
Florida, God hath reserved to be reduced unto Christian 
civility by the English nation." 

This prophecy w r as made when Spain still claimed our 
whole coast under the decree of the Borgia Pope, when 
Prance had established herself in the North, and England 
had as yet no foothold on the continent. It is the utter- 
ance of one who describes himself as "Mr. Edw r ard Haies, 
gentleman, and principal actour in the voyage attempted 
in the yeere of our Lord 1583, by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 
knight, and who alone continued unto the end, and by 
God's speciall assistance returned home with his retinue 
safe and entire. ' ' 

Hayes' picturesque narrative of Gilbert's ill-starred 
voyage forms one of the earliest pages in the history of 
English colonization. 

Till the close of the fifteenth century Italy was the most 
advanced and enlightened of the States of Europe, the chief 


Seat of the arts and sciences; and as mistress of the Med- 
iterranean it was natural that she should give birth to the 

first great navigators and explorers. Her sons had pene- 
trated the unknown regions of Asia and Africa; they led 
the way to all the great discoveries, and Marco Polo, John 
Cabot, Columbus d Amerigo Vespucci are only the most 
illustrious among many adventurers. But when a new 
world had been found, when the Atlantic superseded the 
Mediterranean as the great sea of commerce, then the work 
of the Italian students and scientists is done, and it is the 
Spaniard and the Englishman who reap the fruit of the 

Strange freak of fortune that the genius and enterprise 
of her sons were to deprive Italy of her maritime suprem- 
acy ; that Venice and Genoa, the queen-cities of mediaeval 
commerce, should be discrowned by the immortal exploits 
of their own children ! 

The coast of Xorth Carolina is a long, narrow chain of 
sand-hills, locally called the Banks, separating the ocean 
from the broad, shallow bodies of water, Pamlico and Al- 
bemarle sounds, which are the estuaries of the Xeuse and 
Roanoke and other great rivers of the state. At irregular 
intervals the line of the Banks is broken by narrow and 
ever-shifting inlets, through w r hich flow the ocean tides, 
turning the inner waters into vast salt lakes, very rich in 
all varieties of sea products. 

Within this breastwork of barren downs are few islands ; 
but there is one of supreme importance in the history of 
the Anglo-Saxon race in America. Roanoke island, about 
twenty miles long by three in wudth, lies between Roanoke 
and Croatan sounds, the shallow waters which connect 
Pamlico and Albemarle, and is two miles from the Banks, 
and thrice that distance from the mainland. Here was 
established the first English colony ; here was born the first 


white American; here was celebrated the first Christian 
lite within the limits of the Thirteen Colonies. It is the 
starting point of events as pregnant with great results in 
the wonderful history of our race, as was the landing of 
our forefathers on the shores of Kent, when they migrated 
from their Holstein homes more than a thousand years 

Yet, interesting and important as is the spot, how little 
is known of it by the great majority of Americans, or of 
this first endeavor to plant the sturdy English stock in the 
soil of the new world ! We are familiar with the bloody 
atrocities amid which St. Augustine was founded ; we are 
versed in the story of John Smith's adventures at James- 
town, and of the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth ; 
but this early attempt at English colonization, "with all its 
romantic incidents, has been allowed to sink almost into 
oblivion. It is not from lack of historical materials, for 
they are very abundant. While of the explorations of 
the Cabots we have no account from any one who took 
part in their voyages, the story of Roanoke has been fully 
told by Barlowe, Lane, Hariot, and White, leaders in the 
several expeditions. These precious documents, together 
with water-colored illustrations of the new country, have 
all been preserved, and no tale of adventure is fuller of 
picturesque incident and romantic interest. 

The colony bears the name of one of the most remarka- 
ble men in a very remarkable age — Raleigh, the cavalier, 
statesmen, philosopher, historian, poet, mariner, explorer, 
hero, martyr — 

"The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's eye, tongue, sword." 
No character in legend or history is more brilliant or versa- 
tile. The period too. is the most interesting period in the 
life of the English people. c; The spacious time of great 
Elizabeth," crowded with great deeds, and tilled with 
u those melodious bursts that echo still." There were in- 
tellectual giants in those grand days, and through all 



classes of the people ran an enthusiasm of adventure and 
decay, jut.i as the spirit of the Crusades had at one time 
thrilled through all Europe. Bacon and Shakespeare were 
budding into manhood ; Sidney had written the Arcadia 
and Defense of Poesie. and was about to rind his apotheo- 
sis on the Held of Zutphen ; while Spencer was dreaming 
of the land of Faery, among "the green alders by the 
Mulla's shore.'' Frobisher had made his Arctic explora- 
tions, and Drake had returned to amaze all England with 
his story of the circumnavigation of the globe. 

The saving cruelties of Alva, and the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew, had kindled religious animosity into a fierce 
Hame, The Prince of Orange was about to fall under the 
assassin's knife, and plots were thickening about the fair 
head of Mary Stuart, which were to bring her to the scaf- 
fold. The Renaissance and the Reformation had broken 
the shackles of the intellect, and widened the horizon of 
thought ; while the great discoveries had opened new fields 
for the display of human energy. Men were giving up 
speculations about the heavenly world, which had absorbed 
the intellectual activities of the middle ages, and were turn- 
ing to the practical conquest of a world beyond the seas. 
England and Protestantism were gathering their forces for 
the last great struggle with Spain and the Latin church, 
for supremacy in the old world, and for mastery in the 

The English claim to North America, from Newfound- 
land to Florida, was based upon the discoveries of John 
and Sebastian Cabot, made under the authority of a patent 
granted to them by Henry VII, in March, 1496, the oldest 
American State paper of England. It empowered them to 
look for and discover new lands ' 'of infidels and pagans 
whatever, and wherever situated, which before that time 
had been unknown to all Christians." Strachey, writing 
of Virginia in 1618, says: * k The King of Spaine hath no 
collour of title to this place. King Henry VII gave his 


letters pattents unto John Cabot, a Venetian indenized his 
subject, and to his three Bonnes, who discovered for the 
King the North part of America, and annexed to the crowne 
of England all that great tract of land stretching from the 
Cape of Florida unto those parts, mayne and islands, which 
we call the New-found-land." 

John Cabot had come from Italy to England about 1408, 
and settled in a suburb of Bristol, then, as now, called 
Cathay, from its trade with the East Indies, and here his 
son Sebastian was born. After the Norse Vikings no 
European until the Cabots had set foot on this continent. 
Sailing in an English ship manned chiehy with English 
seamen, they reached the American coast at Prima-Vista, 
First-seen-land, now Cape Breton, on 24th June, 1497, 
before either Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci had discov- 
ered the mainland. They planted a cross upon the shore, 
and the meteor Hag of England is the first that was un- 
furled on the continent. Coasting for many leagues along 
what came to be called La Tierra de las Baccalaos, or Cod- 
fish-land, later Labrador, which they thought to be the 
territory of the Grand Khan in Asia, they returned to 
England at the end of summer, and Henry, swayed possi- 
bly by his unkingly passion of avarice, gave ten pounds to 
the adventurers who presented him with a new world ! 

Cabot is one of the great historic names over which the 
caprice of Fate has striven to draw r the curtain of oblivion. 
While the name of Columbus is rightly found everywhere 
in America, and that of Vespucci — who first crossed the 
Atlantic when Sebastian Cabot was making his third voy- 
age from England — has been given to the whole Western 
hemisphere, no river or mountain, bay or promontory bears 
the name of Cabot. Yet a recent writer. Brownson, on con- 
trasting the results to the world of the English and Spanish 
explorations, says: i 'Columbus and Cabot looked for a 
land of gold and spices. Columbus found the lands rich 
in precious metals, and the result there have been four 


centuries of cruelty, slavery, and oppression, of despotism 

and anarchy. Cabot found a land whose only wealth was 
in the codfish that swarmed on its coasts ; but that land 
became the cradle of liberty and justice, of resistance to 
tyranny and oppression, the refuge of the down-trodden 
and enslaved of every clime. The world, humanity, is 
better, nobler, happier, for the discovery made by Cabot ; 
has any real benefit to mankind resulted from the lands 
south of us?" 

The fame of the elder Cabot — whom we Anglo-Americans 
should learn to reverence — has been obscured by the greater 
glory of his son. English born and bred, Sebastian Cabot, 
on the death of his father, became the leader of the expe- 
dition of 14 OS, which was a scheme of colonization. By 
way of Iceland he reached the shores of Labrador, and 
coasted as far South as Cape Charles or Hatteras, whence 
from want of provisions he returned to Europe. In 1516 
he discovered Hudson's Bay for England, but through the 
greater part of the troublous reign of Henry VIII, he was 
in the service of Spain, and explored for her the great Eio 
de la Plata in South America. Returning to England he 
was pensioned and honoured by Edward VI. Now an old 
man, his restless activity was unabated, and the English 
voyages in the middle of the sixteenth century were due to 
Cabot's initiative. 

In his fatal expedition to the Arctic seas in 1553, Sir 
Hugh "Willoughby took with him Cabot's instructions for 
the voyage, which are most interesting as showing alike 
his wisdom and skill in seamanship, and his deeply reli- 
gious character. In them the mariner's log-book is first 
instituted, and minute directions are given with regard to 
every detail of the art of navigation. The morning and 
evening prayer of the Church of England are ordered to be 
read on every ship daily, and the sailors are enjoined 
always to act "for dutie and conscience sake towards God. 
under whose mercifull hand navigants above all other 
creatures naturally bee most nigh and nicine." 




Sebastian Cabot died probably in 1557 — that lurid epoch 
when the Protestant martyrs were perishing at the stake — 
but his place of death and his grave are unknown. England 
(as Tardneci says) "had no time to remember or mark the 
sepulchre of the man to whose (powerful) initiative she 
owes the wealth and power which have placed her among 
the foremost nations of the world." "Her claims in the 
New World have uniformly rested on his discoveries. The 
English language might be spoken in no part of America 
but for Sebastian Cabot. The commerce of England and 
her Navy have been deeply his debtors. Yet his birth- 
place has been denied and his fame has been obscured. 
He gave a continent to England ; yet no one can point to 
the few feet of earth she has allowed him in return." 

I have dwelt at some length on these earliest efforts at 
English colonization, because they are so generally over- 
looked and neglected, and because the story of them 
enforces any point of the exclusively English origin of our 

After Cabot's discovery of the North American Conti- 
nent, and his taking possession of it for the crown of 
England, no important expeditions were undertaken for 
more than half a century. In the reign of Henry VIII all 
the energies of the nation were absorbed in the great prob- 
lems of Church and State then pressing for solution, nor 
could the king attempt any conquests in the New World 
without a rupture with his ally, the Spanish monarch. On 
the accession of his son, Edward VI, the spirit of maritime 
adventure revived, but he was on his death-bed when the 
expedition of Willoughby set sail, and no such enterprise 
was practicable in the reign of Mary, the slave of Spain 
and of ftome. But with Elizabeth on the throne, and the 
R^* *mation triumphant, all great designs seemed possible. 
±e earliest attempt at colonization in his reign was made 
in 1578, by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and to the initiative of 
these two men the Anglicizing of this continent is due . The 

_ 35 - 1T04827 

settlement of Jamestown and the establishment of the 
Puritans at Plymouth were only the last successful steps 

in a long series of great adventures. New England was 
founded by pursuing the path marked out by Gilbert, 
and Virginia by following that of Raleigh ; the enterprises 
of these two great men — par nobile fratrum — are the true 
beginnings of t Anglo- American history. Raleigh was 
already conspicuous as scpretcx cJievaiier and champion of 
Protestantism. He had set before himself as the one great 
aim in life the humiliation of Spain, and the weakening 
of the i)o wer of the Latin race and religion. At the early 
age of seventeen he left the University of Oxford to join 
a band of a hundred volunteers, who went to the aid of 
Coligny and the Huguenots — '-'a gallant company, nobly 
mounted and accoutred, and bearing for a motto on their 
standard, 'Let valor decide the contest.' " France was 
then aflame with the reports of the massacre of the Hu- 
guenots in Florida, and the idea germinated in Raleigh's 
mind that a moral blow might be dealt to the enemy beyond 
the seas. From the service of Coligny he passed to that 
of William the Silent, and all the while was growing in 
him the conviction (which he expressed later in life,) that 
the possession of America would decide the question of 
the supremacy of Spain or England. "For whatsoever 
Prince shall possess it," wrote he, "shall bee greatest, and 
if the king of Spayne enjoy it, he will become unresistible. 
I trust in God that he which is Lorde of Lords, will put it 
into her heart which is Lady of Ladies to possess it." 
Paper on Guinea, 1595. 

Raleigh took command of one of the small vessels of 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's fleet, with which they \oped to 
reach our shores, and by establishing a colony check the 
progress of the Spaniards, and ' 'put a byt into their an it 
enemye's mouth." The attempt was a failure ; and on ; ue 
second expedition, in 15S3, Raleigh, who had fitted out 
one of the five ships, was forbidden by the queen to 

— 30— 

accompany his brother. Gilbert took formal possession of 
NwfouB$laii&$ but lie lost his ship off Sable island; and 
on the return voyage the gallant soldier went down off the 
Azores, with the Squirrel, his little craft of ten tons, his 
last noble words being, ''Courage, my friends ! We are as 
neere to heaven by sea as by land." 

To Raleigh then came the scheme of colonization almost 
as an inheritance; and on Lady-Day, March 25, 15S4, 
Queen Elizabeth issued to him a patent of discovery, 
granting him "all prerogatives, commodities, jurisdictions, 
royalties, privileges, franchises, and pre-eminences, (there- 
to or thereabouts, both by sea and by land, whatsoever we 
by our letters patents may grant, and as we or any of our 
noble progenitors have heretofore granted to any person 
or persons, bodies politique or corporate.") 

He equipped two vessels under command of Amadas and 
Barlowe, and from the pen of the latter we have an account 
of the expedition: "The 27 day of Aprill, in the yere of 
our redemption 1584, we departed the West of England, 
with two barkes well furnished with men and victuals. . . 
The tenth of June we were fallen with the Islands of the 
West Indes. . . The second of July, we found shole 
water, wher we smelt so sweet and so strong a smel, as if 
we had been in the midst of some delicate garden abound- 
ing with odoriferous flowers, by which we were assured, 
that the land could not be farre distant." 

This characteristic of what Lane afterward called the 

"Paradise of the world" may have been in Milton's mind 

when he described the approach of the Evil Spirit to the 

garden of Eden : 

1 ' Now purer air 
Meets his approach ; . . . now gentle gales 
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail 
Beyond the Cape of Hope, north-east winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 


Of Araby the blest ; with such delay 

Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league 

Cheered with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles."* 

1 'Keeping good watch, and bearing but siacke saile. the 
fourth of July [America's fated day!] we arrived upon the 
coast, which we supposed to be a continent, and we sayled 
along the same 120 miles before we could find any entrance, 
or river issueing into the sea. The first that appeared unto 
us we entered, and cast anker about three harquebuz- 
shot within the haven's mouth : and after thanks given to 
God for our safe arrivall thither, we manned our boats, 
and went to view the land next adjoyning, and to take 
possession of the same, in right of the Q.ueenes most excel- 
lent Majestie." 

The explorers had coasted northward two days along the 
Banks, and entering probably at New inlet or Trinity 
harbour, had anchored not far from Roanoke island. ; : We 
viewed the land about us, being, whereas we first landed. 
very sandie and low towards the water side, but so full of 
grapes, as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed 
them, of which we found such plentie, both on the sand 
and on the green soil on the hills, as well as on the hills, 
as well on every shrubbe, as also climbing towards the 
tops of high Cedars, that Ithinkein all the world the like 
abundance is not to be found." This is evidently the lux- 
uriant North Carolina Scuppernong grape, whose strong 
aromatic perfume might well be perceived at some distance 
from the shore. . . . ; -There came unto us divers boats, 
and in one or them the king's brother, with fortie or fiftie 
men, very handsome and goodly people, and in their be- 
haviour as mannerly and civill as any in Europe. . . . 
The soile is the most plentif till, sweete, fruitf ull and whole- 
some of all the worlde : (there were above f ourteene severall 
sweete-smelling timber trees, and the most part of their 
underwoods are Bayes and suchlike.) . . . Wee came 

♦Paradise Lost, IV, 153-165. 


to an Island which they call Roanoke, distant from the 
harbour by which we entered seven leagues: and at the 
north end thereof was a village of nine houses, built of 
Cedar, and fortified round about with sharp trees, to keepe 
out their enemies, and the entrance into it made like a 
Turne pike very artificially. . . . The wife of the 
king's brother came running out to meete us very cheere- 
fully and friendly. When we come into the utter roome, 
having five roomes in her house, she caused us to sit downe 
by a great fire, and after tooke off our clothes and washed 
them, and dried them againe : some of the women plucked 
off our stockings and washed them, some washed our feete 
in warme water, shee herself e making great e haste to dress 
some meate for us to eate. . . . We were entertained 
with all love and kindnesse, and with as much bountie as 
they could possibly devise, We found the people most 
gentle, loving and faithfull, voide of all guile and treason, 
and such as live after the manner of the golden age." 

It is important to mark this tribute to the character of 
the Hatteras Indians, and bearing in mind after instances 
of their kindliness and fidelity, we are forced to admit that 
their final attitude of hostility was entirely due to harsh 
and cruel treatment of them by the Colonists. It was a 
stern and ruthless age ; the followers of the blessed Gospel 
of peace and love went ever armed with fire and sword, and 
admitted no right of any savage or pagan opponent to 
property, liberty or life. 

These first explorers remained in our waters only two 
months, reaching England again i 'about the middle of 
September," bringing with them two of the natives, Wan- 
chese and Manteo. Their arrival excited the greatest 
interest. Raleigh named the new country Virginia in honor 
of the queen, and our whole Atlantic coast was now regarded 
as under the dominion of France, England, and Spain; 
the three districts of indefinite boundaries being known 
as Canada, Virginia, and Florida. 


This voyage of Amadas was merely one of exploration; 
but in 1585 Raleigh iitted out a second expedition ol* seven 
sail and one hundred and eight men, under command of 
his cousin Sir Richard Grenville, to plant a colony in the 
paradise described by Barlowe. Grenville is another of 
the brilliant heroes of this period, and it is interesting to 
note the number of remarkable men who were connected 
with the American voyages. Gilbert, Raleigh, Grenville, 
Lane, Hariot, White, form as striking a group of adven- 
turous spirits as can be gathered together in history. 

Full accounts of the experiences of the colonists are 
given by Lane. "'The 9 day of April 1585 we departed 
from Plymouth, our Fleete consisting of the number of 
• seven sailes, (to wit the Tyger, of the burden of seven 
score tuunes, a Flie-boat called the Roe-bucke, of the like 
burden, the Lyon of a hundred tunnes, the Elizabeth, of 
fifty tunnes, and the Dorothie, a small barke : wherunto 
were also adjoyned for speedy services, two small pin- 
nesses. . . . The 12. day of May wee came to an anker 
off the island of St. John de Porto Rico. . . . The 24. 
day we set saile from St. Johns, being many of us stung 
upon shoare with the Muskitos. . . . The 20 of June 
we fell in with the maine of Florida. The 23. we were in 
great danger of wracke on a beach called the Cape of 
Feare, [the Promontorium tremendum of the old maps.] 
The 26. we came to anker at Wocokon [Ocracoke]. July 
3 we sent word of our arriving at Wocokon to Win^ina 
[the Indian chief] at Roanoak. The 16. one of the savages 
having stolen from us a silver cup, we burnt and spoyled 
their corne and towne, all the people being lied. . . . 
The 27. our Fleete ankered at Haterask, and there we 
rested. The 25. August our Generall weyed anker, and 
set saile for England." 

Grenville thus remained two months on the Carolina 
coast, and then putting the colony under the government 
of Ralph Lane, returned home to join the other i% Sea- 


dogs' f who were now making the whole Atlantic unsafe for 
Spain. His death in 1591 oil the Azores, where also 
Gilbert had perished, is one of the most glorious events in 
British naval annals. The English squadron consisted of 
but seven sail ; the Spanish tieet numbered fifty-five. 
Engaged all night at close quarters with many of the largest 
Spanish galleons, at daylight Grenville found his little 
ship, the Revenge, literally shot to pieces, and not a man 
on board unhurt. Desperately wounded, he still refused 
to strike his Hag : and when forced by his crew to surren- 
der the sinking hull, he was taken on board the Spanish 
Admiral to utter the memorable last words: "Here die I. 
Eichard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind ; for that 
I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting 
for his country, queen,, religion, and honour." 

On September 3, 1585, Governor Lane wrote to Richard 
Hakluyt from "the New Fort in Virginia," which he had 
built at the northern end of Roanoke island, on the site of 
the fortified Indian village found there by Amadas : "Since 
Sir Richard Grenville 's departure, we have discovered the 
maine to be the goodliest soyle under the cope of heaven, 
so abounding with sweete trees, and grapes of such great- 
nesse, yet wilde. . . . And we have found here Maiz 
or Guinie wheat, whose eare yeeldeth corne for bread 400 
npon one eare. . . . It is the goodliest and most 
pleasing Territorie of the world : for the continent is of an 
huge and unknowen greatnesse, and the climate is whole- 
some. ... If Virginia had but horses and kine, I 
dare assure myself e, being inhabited with English, no 
realme in Cftristendome were comparable to it." 

He describes the whole neighboring country, and deter- 
mines to change the site of the colony to a better port, for 
"the harborough of Roanoak was very naught;" but the 
hostility of some of the Indian tribes rendered all his 
efforts futile. Conspiracies were formed against the En- 
glish, and their situation grew so precarious, that many 

— 41— 

turned a longing eye homeward. On June 10, 1586, Sir 
Francis Drake anchored off trie coast with a fleet of twenty- 
three sail, and furnished Lane with a "very proper barke 
of seventy tun, and tooke present order for bringing of 
victual aboord her for 100 men for four moneths." But 
on the 13th there arose a great storm which drove her to 
sea, with many of the chief colonists on board, and she did 
not return. Despairing of any remedy for this disaster, 
and unable to pfiss another winter without succor from 
home, Lane determined to abandon the colony. The men 
were bestowed among Drake ? s fleet, and arrived at Ports- 
mouth on the 27th of July. 

"Immediately after the departing of our English colony 
out of this paradise of the world," writes Lane, "the ship 
sent at the charges of Sir Walter Raleigh, fraighted with 
all maner of things in most plentifull maner, arrived at 
Hatorask ; who after some time spent in seeking our Col- 
ony up in the countrey, and not finding them, returned 
with all the aforesayd provision into England. About 
f oureteene days after the departure of the aforesayd shippe, 
Sir Richard Grenville Generall of Virginia arrived there ; 
who not hearing any newes of the Colony, and finding the 
places which they inhabited desolate, yet unwilling to 
loose the possession of the countrey, determined to leave 
some men behinde to reteine it: whereupon he landed fif- 
teene men in the Isle of Roanoak, furnished plentifully 
with all maner of provisions for two yeeres." 

Besides Lane's narrative of his explorations in the wa- 
ters of Xorth Carolina, of his relations with the Indians, 
and of the various adventures and vicissitudes of the first 
colony, we have a ••Briefe and true report of the new found 
land of Virginia 1 ' by Thomas Harlot, "a man no lesse for 
his honesty than learning commendable," the scholar of 
the expedition, and the inventor of the algebraic- system of 
notation, described in his epitaj)h as : 


Doctissiinus ille Harriotus, 

Qui oranen scientiaa coluit, 

Qui in omnibus excelluit. 

Mathematicis, philosophicis, theologicis, 

Veritatis indagator studiosiasimus. 

His report, addressed to "the Adventurers. Favourers, 
and Welwillers of the enterprise for the inhabiting and 
planting in Virginia,'' is a very full and interesting ac- 
count of the varied products of the new country, and of 
the manners and customs of the natives. "There is a kind 
of grasse in the country, upon the blades whereof there 
groweth very good silks. . . . There are two kindes 
of grapes that the soile doth yeeld, the one small and 
sowre, of the ordinary bignesse, the other farre greater and 
of himself e lushious sweet [the Scuppernong]. ... A 
kinde of graine called by the inhabitants Pagatowr [Indian 
corn], about the bignesse of English peaze ; but of divers 
colours ; white, red, yellow and blew. All yeeld a very 
white and sweete rlowre. . . . There is an herbe called 
by the inhabitants Uppowoe ; the Spanyards call it Tabacco. 
The leaves thereof being brought into pouder, they used to 
take the smoake thereof, by sucking it thorow pipes made 
of clay, into their stomacke and heade ; from whence it 
purgeth superfluous Heame and other grosse humours : 
whereby their bodies are notably preserved in health, and 
know not many grievous diseases, wherewithall we in En- 
gland are afflicted. They thinke their gods are marvel- 
lously delighted therewith : whereupon they make hallowed 
fires, and cast some of the pouder therein for sacriiice : 
being in a storm, to pacifie their gods, they cast some into 
the waters : also after an escape from danger, they cast 
some into the aire. . . . We our selves used to sucke 
it after their maner, and have found many wonderfull ex- 
periments of the vertues thereof : the use of it by so many 
of late, men and women of great calling, is sufficient wit- 
nesse. . . . Openauk are a kinde of roots of round 
forme [the potato] found in moist and 

being boiled or sodden, they are very good meat. . » 4 
The natarall inhabitants are a people clothed with loose 
mantles made of deere skinnes, and aprons of the same 
round about their middle, all els naked. . . . For 
mankinde they say a woman was made first, which by the 
working of one of the gods, conceived and brought foorth 
children ; and in such sort they had their beginning. . . 
Some of the people could not tell whether to thinke us 
gods or men, the rather because there was no man of ours 
knowen to die. or that was specially sicke : they noted 
also that we had no women among us. Some therefore 
were of opinion that we were not borne of women, and 
therefore not mortal, but that we were men of an old gen- 
eration many yeeres past, then risen againe to immor- 
talitie. Some would likewise prophecie that there were 
more of our generation yet to come to kill theirs and take 
their places .V s 

In no wise discouraged by the failure of this costly ex- 
periment at colonization, Kaleigh fitted out another expe- 
dition of three vessels in the following year, under command 
of John White, to whom we are indebted for the story of 
this second colony. For the first time the enterprise had 
an element of permanence, by including among the emi- 
grants women and children. The intention was to make a 
settlement on the shores of the Chesapeake, but through 
the treachery of a pilot, as is said, Roanoke island again 
became the home of the colonists. 

' 'In the yeere of our Lord 158T, Sir Walter Ealeigh in- 
tending to persevere in the planting of his Countrey of 
Virginia, prepared a newe Colonie of one hundred and hfty 
men to be sent thither, under the charge of John White, 
whom hee appointed Governour, and also appointed unto 
him twelve Assistants, unto whom he gave a Charter, and 
incorporated them by the name of Governour and Assist- 
ants of the Citie of Ralegh in Virginia. Our Fleete being 
in number three saile, the Admirall a shippe of one hun- 


&re& and twenty Tunnes, a Flie-boat, and a Pinnosse, de- 
parted tlie 20 of April from Portsmouth. . . . About 
the 16 of July we fel with the maine of Virginia, and bare 
along the coast, where in the night, had not Captaine 
Stafford bene care full, we had bene all castaway upon the 
breach, called the Cape of Feare. The 22 of July wee ar- 
rived at Hatorask : the Governour went aboard the pin- 
nesse, with fortie of his best men, intending to passe up to 
Koanok foorthwith, hoping there to flnde those hfteene 
men, which Sir Richard Grenville had left there the yeere 
before. . . . The same night at sunne-set he went 
aland, and the next day walked to the North ende of the 
Island, where Master Ralfe Lane had his forte, with sun- 
dry dwellings, made by his men about it the yeere before, 
where wee hoped to find some signes of our fifteene men. 
We found the forte rased downe, but all the houses stand- 
ing unhurt, saving that the neather roomes of them, and 
also of the forte, were overgrowen with Melons, and Deere 
within them feeding : so wee returned to our company, 
without hope of ever seeing any of the lifteene men living. 
The same day order was given for the repayring of those 
houses, and also to make other new Cottages." 

The settlers, numbering ninety-one men, seventeen wo- 
men, and nine children, set to work to rebuild the fort, 
and to make for themselves an English home. Soon after 
their arrival occurred two incidents of extreme importance 
in the life of the colony. 

"The 13 of August our Savage Manteo was christened in 
Roanoak, and called Lord thereof and of Dasamongue- 
peuk, in reward of his faithfull service. The IS, Elenor, 
daughter to the Governour, and wife to Ananias Dare, one 
of the Assistants, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoak, 
and the same was christened there the Sonday following, 
and because this child was the first Christian borne in Vir- 
ginia, shee was named Virginia." 

The baptism of Manteo and of the first Anglo-American 

— 45— 

child are the beginnings of the life of the English church 
, in the new world. The name Dare has been given to a 

county of North Carolina on Pamlico sound, and its 
county-seat is the village of Manteo on Roanoke island ; a 
happy and permanent association of these Indian and En- 
glish names with the locality where they were tirst brought 
into interesting conjunction. 

What became of Virginia Dare? — the first American 
girl — that pattern of sweet womanhood now recognized as 
a distinctive type, and one as fair and winsome as the 
Mirandas or Violas of poetry ! Did she die in infancy, 
and does her dust, mingled with the soil of her birth-place, 
blossom there into tiowers that blush unseen? Did her 
little feet join in the wandering of the settlers from Roan- 
oke to Croatan? Did she grow to womanhood in their 
second home, and did her life end in tragedy amid the 
darkness which enshrouds the fate of the Colony? What 
a subject for imaginative speculation ! — and I wonder that 
no Carolina writer has made her story the theme of a ro- 

A pretty Indian legend is that for her grace and gentle- 
ness she was known among the Red Men as the "White 
Fawn," and after death her spirit assumed that form — an 
elfin Fawn, which, clad in immortal beauty, would at 
times be seen haunting, Hke a tender memory, the place of 
her birth, or gazing wistfully over the sea, as with pathetic 
yearning for the distant mother-land. 

Shall not the name of Virginia Dare, the White Fawn of 
Carolina, grow more dear, more familiar to us all? The 
women of our dear old State will see to it, I am sure, that 
the memory of this first Carolina girl, and of Eleanor Dare, 
the first Carolina mother, be tenderly cherished and hon- 

"The 22 of August the whole company came to the Gov- 
ernour, and with one voice requested him to return him- 
self e into England, for the obtaining of supplies and other 

necessaries for them ; but lie refused it, and alleaged many 
suliieient causes why he would not. ... At the last, 
through their extreame intreating constrayned to return, 
he departed from Koanoak the 27 of August." The next 
day he set sail, destined never again to see his daughter 
and grandchild, and after a terrible voyage reached the 
coast of Ireland on the 16th of October. 

This is the last that is known of the lost colony, whose 
fate has given rise to so much interesting speculation, and 
whose blood it is thought may be traced to-day in the 
Croatan or Hatteras Indians of Robeson county, North 
Carolina. It was three years before succour came from the 
old world, for England in the meantime had needed every 
ship and every sailor in her life-and-death struggle with 
Spain and the invincible Armada. Efforts were made to 
reach the colony, but they were unsuccessful, and not un- 
til the summer of 1590 did Governor White again arrive 
off the North Carolina coast. 

< 'The 20 of March the three shippes, the Hopewell, the 
John Evangelist, and the little John, put to sea from Ply- 
mouth. . ,. . The 23 of July we had sight of the Cape 
of Florida, and the broken Hands thereof. . . . The 
15 of August we came to an anker at Hatorask, and saw a 
great smoke rise in the He Eoanoke neere the place where 
I left our Colony in the yeere 1587. . . . The next 
morning our two boates went ashore, and we saw another 
great smoke ; but when we came to it, we found no man 
nor signe that any had bene there lately. . . . The 17 
of August our boates were prepared againe to goe up to 
Roanoak. . . . Toward the North ende of the Island 
we espied the light of a great fire thorow the woods : when 
we came right over against it, w^e sounded with a trumpet 
a Call, and afterwardes many familiar English tunes and 
Songs, and called to them friendly ; but we had no an- 
swere; we therefore landed, and coming to the lire, we 
found the grasse and sundry rotten trees burning about the 


place. . . . As we entered up the sandy banke, upon 
a, tew©5 in the very browe thereof were curiously carved 
these faire Romane letters, ORG: which letters we knew 
to signifie the place where I should find the planters 
seated, according to a secret token agreed upon betweene 
them and me, at my last departure from them, which was 
that they should not i'aile to write or carve on the trees or 
posts of the dores the name of the place where they should 
be seated : and if they should be distressed, that then they 
should carve over the letters a Crosse - - in this forme, 
but we found no such sign of distresse. . . . We found 
the houses taken downe, and the place strongly enclosed 
with a high palisado of great trees, with cortynes and 
Hankers very Fortlike, and one of the chief trees at the 
right side of the entrance had the barke taken off, and live 
foote from the ground in fayre Capitall letters was graven 
CROATO AN, without any crosse or signe of distress. ' ' . . 
No further trace' was found of the colonists, except buried 
chests which had been dug up and rifled by the Indians, 
"bookes torne from the covers, the frames of pictures and 
Mappes rotten and spoyled with rayne, and armour almost 
eaten through with rust. . . . The season was so un- 
fit, and weather so foule, that we were constrayned of force 
to forsake that coast, having not seene any of our planters, 
. with losse of one of our ship-boates, and seven of our chief - 
est men. . . . The 24 of October we came in safetie, 
God be thanked, to an anker at Plymmouth. 
Thus committing the reliefe of my discomfortable com- 
pany, the planters in Virginia, to the merciful help of the 
Almighty, whom I most humbly beseech to helpe and com- 
fort them, according to his most holy will and their good 
desire, I take my leave. ? ' 

Thus ended in disaster all of Raleigh's great schemes for 
planting the English race on our shores. They had cost 
him £40,000. and the result was apparent failure; yet his 
greatest glory is these attempts at colonization. The seed 


was sown which was eventually to yield the richest har- 
rest : the direct fruit of these efforts was the colony of 
Jamestown, and Raleigh is the real pioneer of American 
civilization. It was he, and not King James, who, as 
Shakspere says, was destined to "make new* nations," 
and to whom rightly belongs the proud title of imperii 
Atlantici conditor. 

"It was through Raleigh's failures that success at length 
became possible ; and his name is better entitled than any 
other to rank as the founder of the Anglo-American 
nation." — Payne. 

The misfortunes of the Roanoke settlers postponed the 
peopling of our State for more than a generation, but the 
fame of its beauty, fertility and rich resources had gone 
forth to the old world. Hear with what quaint expres- 
sions of enthusiasm a London writer speaks of Carolina in 
1650: "Nature regards this Ornament of the new world 
with a more indulgent eye than she hath cast upon many 
other countrey s. ... It is all of so delectable an 
aspect, that the melanchollyest eye cannot look upon it 
without contentment, nor content himself without admira- 
tion. . . . Nature has crowned the Virgin Brow of 
this unexampled Countrey with universal plenty. . . , 
Winter Snowes, Frosts, and other excesses, are here only 
remembered, never known : the furling Springs and wan- 
ton Rivers everywhere kissing the happy soyle into a per- 
petuall verdure. . . . This fertility-labouring Countrey, 
especially in its Southerne beauties, in its Roanoke excel- 
lencies, like to a Princesse, all composed of Beauty, surfers 
no addresse to be made unsatisfied. . . . Why, being 
capable to crown her browes with Garlands of Roses, hath 
she sate desolate amongst the Willowes of neglect? . . . 
But the incomparable Virgin hath raised her dejected 
head, and now, like the Eldest Daughter of Nature, ex- 

♦King Henry VIII, V. 4, 53. 


pressetli a priority in her Dowry. Her browes encircled 
with opnlency, she may with as great justice as any Conn- 
trey the Sunne honours with his eye-beames, entitle her 
self to an affinity with Eden, to an absolute perfection 
above all but Paradise. . . . The incomparable Roan- 
oke like a Q.ueene of the Ocean, encircled with an hundred 
attendant Islands, and the most Majestick Carolana shall 
in such an ample and noble gratitude repay her Adventur- 
ers with an Interest far transcending the Principalis- — 
Force Tracts. Ill, XL E. Williams. 

For more than half a century the name of the first settle- 
ment, the so-called '-City of Raleigh,'' disappears from 
our annals; until in 1654 a company of explorers from 
Virginia reached Roanoke, and saw what they termed the 
4 'ruins of Sir Walter Raleigh's fort/' The lapse of time 
has probably altered its appearance but little from what it 
then was, except for the changes wrought by a luxuriant 
vegetation. Its present condition is thus described in 
Harper's Magazine for May, I860 : "-The trench is clearly 
traceable in a square about forty yards each way. Mid- 
way of one side another trench, perhaps flanking the gate- 
way, runs inward iifteen or twenty feet. On the ris:ht of 
the same face of the enclosures, the corner is apparently 
thrown out in the form of a small bastion. The ditch is 
generally two feet deep, though in many places scarcely 
perceptible. The whole site is overgrown with pine, live- 
oak, vines, and a variety of other plants. A flourishing 
tree, draped with vines, stands sentinel near the centre. 
A fragment or two of stone or brick may be discovered in 
the grass, and then all is told of the existing relics of the 
city of Raleigh." 

Surely, these interesting historic remains should be 
saved from further decay, and kex^t intact for all time to 
come. Xo sj>ot in the country should be dearer or more 
sacred to us than that which was marked by the first foot- 
prints of the English race in America. In this year of the 



grwfc Exhibition at Chicago, and in these days of enthusi- 
asm about Columbus and his explorations, it is especially 
important not to lose sight of the fact that he did not dis- 
cover the continent of North America, and that the United 
States owe nothing to Spanish civilization. That intiuence 
was to mould the destiny of the peoples who gathered in 
the new world south of the Gulf of Mexico; but Cabot 
with his English explorers was the first to set foot on our 
Atlantic coast, and it is to English enterprise, English 
moral standards, English political ideas, and English civil 
and religious liberty, that we owe the manifold blessings 
we now enjoy, and to which we must gratefully ascribe the 
marvelous progress and prosperity of our beloved country. 

And now we sons of Carolina, whose lot is cast beyond 
her borders, appeal to you at home for help in our patri- 
otic undertaking. Perhaps those who are privileged to 
hang ever on the mother's breast do not so fully realize 
how dear she is as we who yearn for her from afar. But 
however this may be, our love for the dear old mother 
State is deep and tender ; we are proud of her glory, jeal- 
ous of her honor ; eager to work for her, to plead for her : 
and ready I trust, if God will, to die for her. 

Her record is illustrious, but the world does not know 
it, — her history is full of good deeds, great deeds, noble 
deeds, but it is largely unwritten. Shall this ever be so? 
Shall no stepping-stone mark her grand progress across the 
waters of time? Are no statues to rise in honor of our im- 
mortals, — no monuments to our heroic dead, — no memori- 
als of great epochs in our history? 

To put these questions is to answer them, and we can 
no longer remain unmindful of our worthy past. The 
times are full of hopeful signs : associations are forming 
["or patriotic purposes ; historical societies are springing 
up in our principal towns ; a few men have found that they 
have no time to make money, and are spending happy labo- 
rious days in turning over old manuscripts and publishing 

forgotten papers. Oar Colonial Records have been printed, 
chiefly through the noble efforts of William Saunders. 
All honor to him who, though a cripple from wounds and a 
martyr to pain, bravely carried through his colossal work! 
Go to Greensborough, and see what the devotion of one 
man can accomplish. Six years ago Guilford battle-field, 
— the scene of the only pitched battle fought within our 
borders by regular armies during the Revolutionary war. 
— was an almost unknown wilderness. To-day, through 
the energies of David Schenck, it is a beautiful park 
adorned with noble monuments, and it has become a Mecca 
of patriotism for thousands of pilgrims. As the years roll 
on it will become more and more a centre of historic in- 
terest to our children's children, until Guilford will be as 
familiar a name as Bunker Hill, and its significance in the 
great struggle will be as fully recognized as that of York- 
town, to which it was the necessary prelude. 

Thus should we cherish the memory of every important 
fact in our history. Let us devoutly study the Genesis of 
our beloved State, the development of our institutions, the 
formation of our special character, — for we Tar Heels, like 
the Hebrews of old, are a peculiar people, — we may even 
say in a limited sense God's chosen people. Let us remem- 
ber how the English pioneers from the borders of the 
Chesapeake peopled the Albemarle district, — how the 
French Huguenots settled on Pamplico Sound and on the 
fertile lands between the Xeuse and Trent, — the Swiss and 
the persecuted refugees from the Palatinate found a home 
at Xew Berne, — the Scotch Highlanders occupied the banks 
of the Cape Fear, — the sturdy Irish Protestants and the 
Germans filled the centre of the State, and the industrious 
Moravians the country between the Dan and Yadkin. 
From the mingling of these varied elements has grown a 
homogeneous people — simple, unpretentious, modest, un- 
ostentatious, hardy, patient under suffering, obedient to 
law divine and human — a nation of brave, honest men and 


pure, tender women, unsurpassed in the world for- their 
sterling qualities. As ready to resist tyranny as loyally 
submissive to rightful authority, their political acts hare 
been marked by the highest wisdom, and if "there be 
any/' says Bancroft, '-who doubt man's capacity for self- 
government, let them study the history of North Carolina." 

Over sixty years under the government of the Lords Pro- 
prietors, and nearly as long under the rule of royal Govern- 
ors, our fathers showed from the outset an earnest love of 
liberty and a determined spirit of independence. All op- 
pression of the home government and every abuse of the 
royal prerogative were stoutly resisted, and when the day of 
inevitable contlict came, Mecklenburg pointed out to the 
sister Colonies the path to independence, and North Caro- 
lina soldiers shed their blood for the common safety from 
Stony Point on the Hudson to our extreme Southern bor- 
der in Georgia. The cause which their valour had helped 
to win in the field was upheld by their wisdom in the 
council -chamber, and in nothing are our ancestors worthier 
of admiration than in the measures adopted for the forma- 
tion of a State government and the conditions prescribed 
for the acceptance of the Federal Constitution. 

Then followed two generations of happy, prosperous de- 
velopment, when again our country was desolated by a 
cruel civil war, — for the outbreak of which North Carolina 
was in no way responsible, — and yet how nobly she re- 
sponded to every call of duty and honour ! — till her best 
blood was reddening every battlefield, and our dear mother 
offered up more of the precious lives of her children than 
did any other State. 

With what interest, what pride should we dwell upon 
all these things ! But especially should we love and adorn 
the sacred spot which was the birthplace of American civil- 
isation. Let Roanoke Island become as familiar and as 
dear to us as is Plymouth Rook to the New Englander ; 
make Fort Raleigh as widely known as Jamestown : let 

there gather around Virginia Dare the romantic interest 
that attaches to the name of Pocahontas. 

Let us men and women give to this, and to all such 
patriotic movements, our substantial aid and hearty sym- 
pathy ; and let all the young be taught to know and feel 
what a proud privilege it is to be a child of Carolina. 

Edward Graham Daves. 

Note. — This article was prepared by Professor Daves for use as a lecture. 
As such it was delivered by him in a lecturing tour throughout North Car- 
olina, in the winter of lS92-'93, in the interest of the Roanoke Colony 
Memorial Asswiation scheme. — Editor. 


One evening in the winter of 1 891-' 92, in the city of 
Baltimore, I went to Lehman's Hall to hear George William 
Curtis deliver an address before the national meeting of 
the Civil Service Reform Clubs. Among the prominent 
men on the platform I noticed a tall gentleman of middle 
age, with a grave and intelligent face, and of a soldierly 
bearing. This, I was told, was Professor Edward Graham 
Daves. I had known of him before this on account of his 
interest in Xorth Carolina history. Both from what I had 
heard and what I then saw. I was very favorably impressed. 
A short time afterwards I met him. I found that my 
anticipation was realized. He was a man of charming 
manners, and of the purest ideals. He was an earnest, 
intelligent student of the past, an untiring worker, a 
patriotic American, and in the true old Southern sense, a 
gentleman. The previous facts of his life, as I afterwards 
learned, were as follows : 

Professor Daves was a grandson of Major John Daves, 
of the Revolutionary army, a son ot John Pugh Daves, and 
was born at Xew Berne. N. C, March 31, 1833. He began 
his studies at the Xew Berne Academy, and later prepared 
for college under private instruction on the plantation of 


his kinsman, Josiah Collins, near Lake Scnppernong. 
Washington count v. X. C. In 1850 he entered Harvard 
College, where Jared Sparks was president, and Longfellow 
and Pierce were professors. For fellow-students he had 
President Eliot Phillips Brooks, Bishop Perry, and Fur- 
ness, the Shakespere scholar. He at once became very 
popular, and was elected by his classmates to various jjosi- 
tions of college prominence. 

His tastes ran toward the classics, and under a native 
Greek he devoted his time especially to the language and 
literature of Greece. He graduated in 1854 with second 
honors, and at once entered the Harvard Law School. Two 
years later he settled himself to practice his profession in 
Baltimore. Just then came the offer of the Greek profes- 
sorship in Trinity College, Connecticut. He loved Greek 
better than law, and the professorship was accepted. Here 
he staid till 1861, when he went to Europe. For ten years 
he remained abroad giving instruction to English youth on 
the shores of Lake Geneva, or traveling with his pupils. 
In 1870 he returned to Baltimore, where he occupied him- 
self with private teaching and with lecturing on literary 
topics. In July, 1894, he died quite unexpectedly in a 
Boston hospital, to which he had gone a short time earlier 
for a surgical operation. 

In the last year of his life. Professor Haves was much 
interested in two historical memorials. June 8, 1891. he 
offered a resolution in a meeting of the Maryland Historical 
Society, which led that society to erect a monument at 
Guilford Court House in memory of the Maryland line. 

who fought so effectively with General Greene at that 
place. He was appointed chairman of the committee to 
carry the matter through, and when the society came to 
select an orator who was formally to present the monu- 
ment, the choice fell on him. The subject of his address 
was "Maryland and North Carolina in the Campaign of 
17S0-'81." It was pronounced an admirable address, and 


in an extended i'orm was published by the Maryland 
society. It is a valuable contribution to our Revolution- 
ary history. 

The other scheme to which he addressed himself was the 
recovery and preservation of the site of the fort which 
Raleigh's colony planted on .Roanoke Island. Mr. Talcott 
Williams, of Philadelphia, in 1887, made a journey 
through the waters of Eastern North Carolina, visiting on 
the way the site of this fort. He mentioned to friends the 
necessity of preserving this relic of the first English colony 
in the borders of our country. It seems that Professor 
Daves from this point became interested in the scheme. 
His practical zeal became aroused. Through his efforts 
Dr. S. Weir Mitchell was interested, and readings were 
given by the two at Ear Harbor, Maine, in order to secure 
funds. Dr. Mitchell afterwards gave readings in Balti- 
more, Philadelphia and other cities, and Professor Daves, 
in the winter of 1892-' 93, made a journey through Xorth 
Carolina, lecturing and receiving subscriptions for the 
X^roject. Enough money was raised to buy the tract of 
land containing the site of the fort and to leave a consid- 
erable balance. A company was organized, which was 
called the Roanoke Colony Memorial Association. The 
lirst meeting of the stockholders was held in Baltimore, at 
Professor Daves' house, in May, 1894. By unanimous 
choice, the faithful promoter of the scheme was made 
president. His active mind had already made many plans 
for promoting the welfare of the company, when all were 
thwarted by his untimely death. At the next meeting of 
the stockholders of the association it was decided to erect 
a memorial to Professor Daves, on the site of the old fort. 
The Guilford monument and the Roanoke association re- 
main a lasting tribute to his patriotic zeal and his untiring 
devotion to history. 

Johx S. Bassett. 


The old saying, that North Carolina is a good yJ^ce to 
start from, is the key-note to the greatness of her people, 
as well as a term of reproach as accepted by them. All 
great men must seek the large centers of civilization in 
order to give to the world their message, but the great 
princix^les of their lives come from the land of their birth. 
A State is to be measured by the number of its good and 
great men, and not by material or physical predominence. 
Even intellectual gifts and culture cannot make a people 
great, but may become the instruments of their ruin. 
There are men in every period who shape the life and 
mould the thought of their time, and among these were 
some who made higher achievements in particular lines of 
work, "but in all the elements which form a positive 
character, in that kind of power which sways the minds of 
other men, and which moulds public opinion, few men of 
his age deserve to rank higher than Francis Lister Hawks. r * 

Dr. Hawks was born in Xewbern, Xorth Carolina, June 
10, 179S. He was the second son of Francis and Julia 
Hawks. His father was of English and his mother of Irish 
descent. His grandfather, John Hawks, came to America 
with Governor Try on, so well known in the early history 
of our State. They were warm friends in the old country 
and came over together to try their fortunes in the new. 
He was the architect of Tryon palace in Xewbern. where 
he submitted his accounts for building, to the governor's 
council, June 29, 1771. During the revolution, however. 
he sided with the Americans. The maternal grandfather 
of Dr. Hawks was Richard Stephens, who came from 
Ireland, and. no doubt, was one of the stern old Scotch- 
Irish blood. Dr. Hawks was one of nine children, three 
of whom became ministers, and one of these a bishop. 

The mother of Dr. Hawks was a remarkable woman. 
What her husband lacked in positiveness and individu- 
ality of character she supplied, combining the character- 


istics of her race with a reverence for religion and all that 
is b&st in life. The early training which she gave her son 
is all-important in estimating his life and character. 
Bishop Green, of Mississippi, who knew the family, says: 
"The father of Dr. Hawks was of amiable disposition, bin 
not of a high order of intellect.' 7 so it is to the mother 
alone that the great character and intellectual qualities of 
Dr. Hawks is to be attributed. 

He was graduated from Chapel Hill in 1815, at the age of 
seventeen, and at that early age he was remarkable for his 
graceful elocution, fluent composition and finely modulated 
voice, as displayed in the exercises of the College Literary 
Society. He was valedictorian, and thus the opportunity 
for pathos was given, for which he was afterward so dis- 

Immediately after graduation he commenced the study 
of law under Judge William Gaston, of Newbern, and 
later he became a pupil at the law-school maintained by 
Judge Reeve and Judge Gould, at Lichfield, Conn. He 
sjoent six months there, together with thirty other youno* 
men, many of whom afterward became well known in 
political and judicial life. Among these he was noted for 
his frank, ingenious disposition, and for his devotion to 
study. Near Lichfield was a school for young ladies, man- 
aged by the Pierce sisters, which no doubt relieved any 
severity which might result from legal training. We know 
little of the discipline kept at this school, but it is not 
probable that a score of restless youths, preparing for a 
profession ''in which audacity is a virtue," would lon^ 
remain ignorant of its attractions. The fair pupils were, 
perhaps, better studied than any page of Coke or Black- 
stone, and the lessons some of the young men learned by 
heart were better remembered. Here Dr. Hawks formed 
the acquaintance of Miss Emily Kirby, who, by her father's 
failure in business, was forced to take up teaching, and as 
the South furnished the best opening for her chosen work, 


she applied timidly and respectfully to young Hawks to 
secure for her a position somewhere in that section. He 

was so pleased with her letter that he sought u corre- 
spondence* which finally resulted in marriage. 

He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one, and 
soon took high rank among the best Lawyers of the State. 
Shortly after graduation he received his first communion 
and began to take an active part in religious affairs. This 
was a bold step for a young man at that time, as religion 
was at a low ebb, there being then only one male commu- 
nicant besides himself in Xewbern parish. A worldly 
career of great promise lay open to him. but he would not 
compromise his christian principles for the sake of worldly 
ambition. He became a candidate for the Legislature in 
1821 from Newbern, where it was customary for a candi- 
date to throw open his house for the entertainment of all 
who came, in which all kinds of vice and drunkenness were 
tolerated. Hawks would have none of this, and "with a 
moral heroism which knew no fear, he dared to respect his 
own conscience, and to abide the consequences. ' ' However, 
he was elected in his twenty -third year. 

About this time he removed to Hillsboro, Orange county. 
and took his place among such men as Wiley P. Mangum. 
W". A. Graham and Chief Justice Is ash. During these 
years his fame for eloquence was growing, and whenever 
it was announced, "That little man is speaking.'' the 
court-room was soon filled with eager listeners. While 
connected with the bar at Hillsboro he became reporter 
for the Supreme Court of the State, and while in this posi- 
tion he prepared the "Reports of Decisions in the Supreme 
Court of North Carolina.'' In his early youth Dr. Hawks 
had been inclined to the ministry, but influenced by the 
worldly and ambitious views of his father he had studied 
Jaw. His heart, however, was not in the work, and one 
morning he came to Bishop Green, then pastor of Hills- 
boro, and said : "I have entered the court-house for the 


last time." The Bishop expressed his surprise and asked 
him what he meant. He replied: "I mean what I say; 1 
am no longer a lawyer ; I wish to become a clergyman." 
He read for a few months under Bishop Green, and re- 
moved to Newbern. where he completed his studies and 
was ordained by Bishop Ravenscroft. 

While on a visit to her old home, his wife died at New 
Haven, Conn., and was buried by Rev. Harry Croswell, by 
whom the marriage was performed. This domestic relation 
between the two men led to the election of Hawks to be 
Dr. CroswelFs assistant in April, 1829. His eloquence and 
sincerity soon won for him a high place among the people 
of New Haven. While there he married Mrs. Olivia Hunt, 
formerly Miss Trowbridge, ox Daubury, Conn., who sur- 
vived Mm. and was a loving tender support to him all 
J through his eventful career. His stay in New- Haven was 

short, and in August of the same year he removed to 
Philadelphia, where he became Bishop "White's assistant 
at St. James' Church. In the autumn of 1830 he was 
elected Professor of Divinity in what is now Trinity Col- 
lege, Hartford, Conn., and early in 1831 he became rector 
of St. Stephen's Church, New York. In December he 
resigned this position to accept the Rectorship of St. 
Thomas' Church, New York Citv, where he spent the best 
years of his life. 

His eloquence and power soon drew around him a large 
congregation, which he held all through the years of his 
pastorate. The early training he had as a lawyer made his 
sermons more or less argumentative. He sought always to 
convince the judgment before appealing to the feelings, 
and in his greatest bursts of eloquence he kept Hamlet's 
advice; in the very torrent and tempest of passion he 
observed a temperance which gave his diction smoothness. 
It is said of him during this period — so wonderful was his 
voice and style of delivery — that had he taken Euclid's 
Geometry into the pulpit, his audience would have listened 

— GO— 

gladly to the demonstration of its bare problems. He was 

called upon to preach many charity sermons, and in one of 
these, for the support of a Dispensary, the following 

humorous touch is found: --It has ber->n objected to many 
charities," said he, "that their beneficence is bestowed 
upon unworthy objects. This cannot, however, be alleged 
in the case of the institution whose claims I advocate; for 
the wretch is yet to be found who will wallow in the mire 
of dissipation for the express purpose of qualifying him- 
self to become a recipient of your bounty, and enjoy the 
sublime privilege of taking physic without cost.'' 

In the summer of 1836, he visited England for the pur- 
pose of securing copies of such documents as related to the 
early history of the Episcopal church in America. He was 
well received there, and brought back with him seventeen 
folio volumes of historical materials, accumulated from 
various sources, relating to the early history of the church 
in New York and in the other colonies. 

A short time previous to this, in 1835. he began a long 
series of literary works by the x>ublieation of several 
juvenile volumes, consisting chiefly of conversations be- 
tween a very learned and sympathetic old Uncle Philip 
and his enquiring and. oftentimes, perplexed nieces and 
nephews. He loved children and took great delight in 
teaching them. 

Immediately upon his return to New York from En- 
gland, Dr. Hawks began the work for which he had now 
such abundant materials, called "Contributions to the Ec- 
clesiastical History of the United States.'' The first vol- 
ume was published in 1836, on the early church in Vir- 
ginia, and in 1839 the second volume, on the early church 
in Maryland, appeared. These works, though well re- 
ceived by the church, were severely criticised, and Dr. 
Hawks was so disgusted with the attack, that he aban- 
doned the whole scheme of Church History. In 1S3? he 
founded the New York Review, to which he contributed 


several strung articles. One especially is of interest to ns. 
being U "Partial Estimate of Jefferson's Character."' in 
which he attacks the principles and work of Mr. Jefferson. 
Another article was that on Aaron Burr. 

While Rector of St. Thomas, he projected a plan for a 
Training school, which was to be a model in educational 
lines. By his enthusiasm and earnestness he secured con- 
tributions to the scheme, and soon had a well organized 
school located at Flashing. Rhode Island, but a financial 
crisis came on and the school was broken up for lack of 
funds. In conseouenee of this failure, Dr. Hawks became 
involved in debt, and his character was attacked for being 
so careless in the use of the school funds. On account of 
this he resigned the Rectorship of St. Thomas' Church, 
and went to Holly Springs, Miss., where his daughter 
lived, with the view of retrieving his fortunes and paying 
off his indebtedness. He at once established a school 
there, and became Rector of the church. He remained 
there only a year, but during that time he was elected 
Bishop of Mississippi by the Philadelphia convention, be- 
fore which he male his famous speech, proving his inno- 
cence of the charges against him. For various reasons he 
declined the appointment. From Holly Springs he went 
to New Orleans, where he was Rector of Christ's Church 
rive years. While there he drew the plans for the organ- 
ization of the University of Louisiana, and was elected its 
first president. 

In 1849 we lind him again in New York as Rector of 
Calvary Church, where he remained until 1861. On his 
return to the city of his adoption, his friends made up a 
purse of ?30.000, which relieved him of all indebtedness, 
and enabled him to pursue his life's work without pecu- 
niary embarrassment. 

Though Dr. Hawks made no pretensions to poetry, his 
occasional verses found a place in a collection of *'The 
Poetry of Xorth Carolina." They were all on simple 


topics, and some of them are instinct with poetic beauty. 
Tn his lines, "To an Aged and Very Cheerful Christian 
Lady," the following beautiful verses occur: 

"And yet thy cheerful spirit breathes 
The freshness of its golden prime : 
Age decks thy brow with silver wreaths, 
But thy young heart still laughs at time. 

"Life's sympathies with thee are bright, 
The current of thy love still flows, 
And silvery clouds of living light 
Hang round thy sunset's golden close." 

His lines to X. P. Willis, of Boston, are beautiful in 
thought and imagery : 

"I know thee not, 
And yet I feel as if I knew thee well ; 
The lofty breathings of thy tuneful lyre 
Have floated round me ; and its witching notes, 
With all thy bright and bold imaginings, 
Stealing and winding round my inmost soul, 
Have touched with gentlest sweep its trembling chords, 
And waked a thrill responsive to thy melody." 

While connected with the Xew York Historical Society. 
Dr. Hawks did his greatest work for North Carolina. Thi;- 
society, instituted in 1804, was revived in 1836, chiefly 
through his influence, and for several years he continued 
to deliver lectures before its members. Among those in- 
teresting to us was ''The Career of the Indian Maid and 
Matron, Pocahontas." followed by another on "Captain 
John Smith and the Settlement in Virginia/' In a subse- 
quent course he delivered a graphic lecture on "Sir Walter 
Raleigh," in which he gave a narrative of the great adven- 
turer's fortunes and an analysis of his character, together 
with that of the leading statesmen of Elizabeth's court and 
of the queen herself. Dr. R. H. Battle says of this lec- 
ture : "I heard him deliver his lecture on 'Sir Walter 
Raleigh,' to the delight of a large commencement audi- 
ence, though he took two and a half hours in its delivery. 
His voice was as deep as the low tones of an organ, and he 


used it with wonderful effect, while his delivery was ex- 
ceedingly graceful and impulsive." This lecture was 
afterward incorporated into the first volume of his history 
of North Carolina. At another time his subject was the 
Revolutionary History of North Carolina, in which he 
discussed his favorite theme, the "Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence." He was a firm believer in the 
declaration of May 19 and 20, 1775, and made some strong 
points in its favor. The style of this lecture is clear, 
smooth and attractive, showing throughout his patriotism 
and love for his native State. 

Among his works, the most valuable to us is his history 
of North Carolina in two volumes. The first was issued at 
Fayetteville in 1857, and embraces the period between the 
first voyage to the colony in 1584 to the last in 1591. It 
consists of various original documents and letters concern- 
ing the early voyages to the colony, together with a kind 
of running commentary by the author on the characters 
and events of the stirring times of Elizabeth. He closes 
the first volume with the following expressive sentence : 
"And so after the toil and suffering of years, the expendi- 
ture of much precious treasure and the loss of still more 
precious life, the waves of Albemarle rolled, as of old, 
their ripples up the deserted island beach, and the only 
voice heard was that of the fitful winds, as they sighed 
through the forests of Roanoke, and broke upon the still- 
ness of Nature's rough repose. The white man was there 
no longer." The second volume, embracing the period of 
proprietary government from 1663 to 1729, was published, 
also at Fayetteville, the following year. This consists of 
a series of chapters on such subjects as "The Law and Its 
Administration," "Agriculture and Manufactures," ' 'Re- 
ligion and Learning," "Manners and Customs," etc. 
Somewhat peculiar, it is true, but carrying out his idea 
that "the real history of a State is to be read in the grad- 
ual progress of its people in intelligence, industry, wealth 


and civilization,'' and that "the public events that trans 
pire are but the exponents of the condition of the inhab- 
itants, in these and other particulars." 

Dr. Hawks took great delight in the study of antiqui- 
ties, and was a prominent member of the American Ethno- 
logical Society. He was especially interested in the 
earliest life of the American Aborigines, and in 1857 he- 
delivered three lectures on the "Antiquities of the Amer- 
ican Continent," at Hope Chapel. New York City. As the 
result of his studies in this department, he published a 
volume on "The Monuments of Egypt," and later, one on 
"Peruvian Antiquities." 

In 1852 he was offered the Bishopric of Rhode Island, 
making the third time that the Episcopate was offered him. 
and, in 1S59, he was invited to the Chair of History in the 
University of Xorth Carolina. This he declined also. 

An event now took place which placed Dr. Hawks in a 
position ill-suited to his nature. Always outspoken in his 
views, he felt that he could no longer hold a position 
among people whose sympathies were so different from his 
own, so he resigned and went to Baltimore, where there 
were many strong southern sympathizers. Approaching 
three score and ten, he gave up the best position he ever 
had, a position won by a life of honest exertion, in order 
to be true to his convictions. ;, He did not forget the land 
of his birth, the grave of his mother, the kindred and 
friends whose happy, peaceful homes were so soon to feel 
the fury and devastation which were poured out upon 
them." At the close of the war he was invited to New 
York, and preached there for a short time, but his health 
was failing. His last public act was the short address on 
laying the corner-stone of his new church in Twenty-fifth 
street, September 4, 1866. His great work was ended. 
After a short illness he gathered his robes about him and 
stept out calmly and peacefully into the great unknown. 


He was buried cat Greenwich, Conn., where a tomb and 
monument were prepared for him. 

Nature seems to have endowed Dr. Hawks with the ele- 
ments of greatness, giving him a powerful intellect, a 
* 'physical constitution of great endurance, an eye steady, 
dark and penetrating, and a voice tuned to eloquence.'' 
His independence, moral courage and warm southern sen- 
sibility, made him a natural leader, and "had he pursued 
a political career, North Carolina might have sent to the 
Senate an orator to rank with Clay and Calhoun." He 
loved simplicity in all things, and in all his public life he 
was thoroughly simple and perfectly natural. He fulfilled 
his great mission as a preacher, and at the same time was 
a leader in all that pertained to the life and true progress 
of the age in which he lived. Wheeler says of him all 
that need be said of any North Carolinian : w *He was true 
to North Carolina and proud of her glorious history." 

Saxders Dext. 


It was the summer of 1870, a year memorable in the po- 
litical and social history of North Carolina. Among the 
notable events of the year may be mentioned the culmina- 
tion and decline of the Ku Klux organization, the grave 
blunders of Governor Holden in the matter of the Kirk 
war, and the election of a Democratic legislature. 

The original incident, the germ of those now to be re- 
lated, occurred in a section of the State from twenty to 
thirty miles southwest of Raleigh known as Buckhorn, a 
name borne by three adjacent townships in three adjacent 
counties, viz : Chatham, Wake and Harnett. 

From Raleigh a great turnpike road leads southwest for 
fifteen miles to the village of Holly Springs ; thence west- 
ward through Buckhorn in Wake into Buckhorn in Chat- 
ham to Avent's Ferry on the Cape Fear river, leaving Buck- 

— CO- 
liorn in Harnett to the South. This road is of great his 
toric interest as being the scene of the last war movement 
of Gen. Sherman's Army. Along this road from Raleigh 
to Avent's Ferry Gen. Sherman threw out the left wing of 
his army for the purpose of reaching Charlotte ahead of 
Gen. Johnston's army, which was following in its retreat 
the line of the North Carolina Eailroad. "When the van 
of the army had reached Avent's Ferry, and a pontoon 
bridge was being thrown across the river, the whole mov- 
ing mass of army corps along the entire length of the road 
came to a halt, went into camp, and remained two weeks 
as guests of this usually quiet section of the State. The 
devastation wrought was all that could be expected from a 
hostile army. 

I hail from Buckhorn in Harnett. At the time above 
mentioned (the summer of 1870) I had returned home from 
Trinity College to spend the vacation at the close of my 
Freshman year. On Friday night, July 1st, about eleven 
o'clock, a squad of mounted men in rapid movement passed 
along the road to the northwest. In the faint moonlight 
the men seemed to be in disguise, and we suspected that 
some of the Ku Klux were on a raid. The next day the 
tidings swiftly spread that Wyatt Prince, a negro living 
just over the Chatham line, had been attacked by the Ku 
Jvlux and had been seriously if not mortally wounded by- 
pistol shots. A more detailed account was that at about 
midnight a squad of disguised men had surrounded Prince's 
log cabin, had demanded entrance, and. having been de- 
nied, they were proceeding to batter down the door, when 
Prince leaped out through an unguarded window. His re- 
treat was discovered in time for the attacking party to give 
him several farewell shots, three of which took effect, 
making serious wounds. Xo further pursuit being offered, 
Prince escaped to the spring branch, in the cool waters of 
which he bathed his wounds till morning. 



Out from the negro circles the rumor spread that some 
of the attacking party hail been recognized, and in this 
connection were mentioned the names of several young 
men of the aforesaid townships, among them the name of 
my brother, John D. Pegram. This gave us little or no 
concern, for the whole family knew that he spent the night 
at home, and that we could easily prove for him an alibi. 
But the incident was not to be closed up in mere rumor. 
Busy hands were at work, the outrage machine was in full 
operation, and the demon of prejudice was for a season un- 
chained. We did not know what was going on at the time, 
but subsequent events revealed to us what had been done. 
One or more of Prince's friends had gone to Raleigh, and had 
made affidavit before the U. S. Commissioner, A. W. Shaf- 

I fer, who issued warrants for the arrest of twelve men of 

the aforesaid Buckhorn townships. The execution of the 
warrants was intrusted to a Deputy Marshal Bosher. who 
called to his aid a squad of Federal soldiers. They came 
down upon us Saturday, June 9th, piloted by Joe Den- 
nis, a young negro of unsavory reputation. Leaving Holly 
Springs early in the morning they reached Chalk Level, 
my father's home, in Harnett, about nine o'clock, where 
they apprehended brother John and myself. We found 
that they had already taken up John Stevens and David 
Stevens, of Wake countv, and Dickson Stevens, a near 
neighbor, of Harnett county. Out upon the highway near 

J home the posse paused for two or three hours, while the 

officer went to arrest Jas. II. Prince, whom he did not tind 
at home. Passing thence to the northwest they arrested 
William Truelove, of Harnett, Xorman Johnson and Buck 
Sloan, of Chatham. Marion Cross and George Sloan were 
in demand, but were not at home, both having gone to 
Haywood on business for the day. 

Towards sunset we had reached the aforesaid Avent's 


Ferry road, and had set our faces towards Raleigh. Reach- 
ing the residence of W. C. Xorris, Esq., in Wake, our cap- 
tors added his son, W. Carey Xorris, to the number of 
prisoners. After dark we reached Collins' Cross Roads, 
where we paused an hour for refreshments ; then continu- 
ing our journey till a late hour, we camped for the remain- 
der of the night about twelve miles from Raleigh. 


Sunday morning we decamped, reached Raleigh about 
eleven o'clock, passed through the city, and halted in the 
old fair grounds, which had been converted into a military 
post for resident Federal troops during those reconstruction 
times. Here we were kept under guard in the open 
porch of a long, low building for some hours during mid- 
day. The arrival of nine captured Ku Klux was a notable 
event. The tidings spread through the city, and vast 
crowds of negroes gathered about the enclosure of the bar- 
racks to see how we looked and to express their joy at the 
prospect of seeing speedy justice meted out to the ; 'negro 
killers. ' ' About three o'clock we were placed under a strong- 
guard, and, attended by the howling, hooting, jeering mob, 
composed seemingly of the entire black papulation of Ral- 
eigh, we were escorted to the court house. After a short 
pause here, in the vain effort to be allowed to remain under 
military guard, or to give security for our appearance, we 
were taken out of the court house by the west door, into 
the jail enclosure, into the jail, up the stairway to the sec- 
ond floor, and safely lodged in the room on the northwest 
corner. It was a foul den, occupied by a youthful jail- 
bird, with his straw bed and blankets upon the floor. At 
last we were in jail — a solid fact and no fancy about it. 
The thick walls, the small grated windows, the strong iron 
door, ourselves on the inside, and the turnkey, armed with 
the proper implements of his ofhce, on the outside — all 
this was evidence indisputable that we were in jail. Up 

to tliis time we had regarded our arrest as a hage joke, and 
had deported ourselves much as a lot of young fellows out 
on a picnic. But this was carrying the joke a little too 
far, and the ilood of emotion that was experienced by our 
little company was too great for utterance. We stood by 
the windows, or sat on the lioor, and silence reigned for 
half an hour. Then one of our number recovered his equi- 
librium and wonted good humor, and said, "Boys this will 
never do ; it's no use to sulk and pout; let's have a good 
time, even in jail." And we did. Soon friends arrived, 
and were- admitted to see us; among them I recall my fa- 
ther, George W. Pegram and his faithful old friend and 
neighbor, A, H. Dewar; W. C. Norris, of Wake: andMaj. 
E. S. Tucker and Geo. T. Stronach, of Raleigh. Their 
presence gave us good cheer, and a box of provisions sent 
from our homes served for our refreshment. About night- 
fall we were transferred to an adjacent room, where with 
an abundance of blankets sent in from other parts of the 
jail we spent the night in refreshing sleep. In the morn- 
ing our host supplied us with an elaborate breakfast, which, 
for each one, consisted of a piece of boiled beef and a large 
chunk of coarse corn bread, made from unsifted meal, with 
seemingly a due proportion of baser material commonly 
known as dirt. We politely received the tin platters with 
the above named contents, placed them on the lioor, and 
with a twirl of the foot sent them gliding to the remotest 
corner of the room. From Cook's Hotel, with compliments 
of our friend, George T. Stronach, was sent to us an elegant 
breakfast for three or four men, which, with the remain- 
ing contents of our box, furnished us all an ample repast. 


At ten o'clock, Monday, July 11th, we were taken into 
the court house for trial before Commissioner A. W. Shaf- 
fer. F. H. Busbee, Esq., was counsel for the prosecution, 
and Ex-Gov. Bragg and R. H. Battle, Esq., were counsel 


for the defense. The court room was crowded to Its ut- 
most capacity. The three men who were absent from home 
when called for on the previous Saturday were now on 
hand of their own accord and responded in the trial. The 
defense put in the plea of no jurisdiction, but the plea did 
not satisfy the court, and so the trial proceeded. The wit- 
nesses introduced by the jn'osecution were the wife of 
Prince and her mother, who was residing at the home of 
Prince at the time the raid was made upon him. The tes- 
timony of the mother was naught, so far as connecting any 
one of the prisoners with the crime. The wife testified 
that she recognized in the raiding party at least four of the 
men, Johnson, Truelove., George Sloan and Buck Sloan; 
that she knew these men well and could identify them ; 
that she knew Johnson very well, and would recognize 
him anywhere. On being asked to identify Johnson she * 

pointed out myself. That there might be no mistake as to 
whom she intended to point out, I was asked to stand up. 
< ; Yes," said the woman, --that is Xorman Johnson." I 
was then asked to state to the court my name. "My name 
is William H. Pegram." said I. The effect of the witness's 
mistake was like an electric shock ; it broke the force of 
her evidence, relaxed the high tension to which all minds 
had been wrought, and brought the evidence on the part 
of the prosecution to an end. The defense offered no tes- 
timony, feeling that there was no evidence to rebut and 
that no case had been made out against us. The court 
soon rendered its decision. Eight of the prisoners were 
discharged, and four were bound over to court in a bond of 
§2,000 each. The latter part of the decision was regarded as 
utterly unjust, and the bail as excessive. The bonds were 
promptly given, and we dispersed to our homes. The men 
appeared at the next Federal Court, but the case was not 
called; and upon inquiry it was found that no true bill 
against them was found by the grand jury. And thus the 
%; Ku Klux Raid and What Came of It" came to a close. 


Perhaps it will be a matter of considerable surprise to 
many, in fact a majority of the citizens of the State, to 
know that the anti-slavery sentiment was ever strong- 
enough here to take the form of organized protest and 
endeavor against the practice of slavery. And they would 
be still more surprised to know that this was the case in 
some of our most prominent counties. Nor was this sim- 
ply the agitation of abolitionists just on the eve of the 
great war, bur it was organized and carried on in the early 
part of this century. And it would be the occasion for 
still greater surprise to know that this organization ever 
reached so prominent a position as to receive such recogni- 
tion from a similar general American Society, as to be asked 
to present their views to the general society at Washington. 
t Yet such was the case. 

The first record we have of this organization is the min- 
utes of the several branches of the "Manumission Society" 
in Guilford and Randolph counties, which met at "Center 
Meeting House'* July 19, 1816. This name it retained for 
two or three years ; but there seems to have been some 
discontent with the limited sphere of work which was im- 
plied in the name, and after several unimportant changes 
the name was finally agreed upon and the society became 
known as the "Manumission and Colonization Society of 
North Carolina.'* And by this name it would have been 
known if the attempt, on the part of some of the members, 
to have the society incorporated had succeeded, but it was 
not seconded by a majority and so the project failed. 

In the matter of organization, the aim of the society was 
to have, in the various townships, as many local branches 
as was possible. These were all entitled to send delegates 
to the General Society which met twice a year, alternating 
between Deep River and Center Meeting Houses. The 
local branches were usually called by the name of the 
"meeting house*' at which their meetings were held, and 


they seem to have been carried on in nearly all the most 
populous communities of the two counties. These branches 
were allowed representation based on membership, and 
their delegates were elected for certain terms just as the 
other officers of the Society. 

Among those who were present at the first meeting in 
1816, we may notice the familiar names of Swain, Mend^n- 
hall. Sherwood and Worth, along with many others. The 
election of permanent officers resulted in choosing Moses 
Swain for President, Thomas Sherwood for Clerk, and 
Hugh Sherwood for Treasurer. 

Upon a call of the local branches, it was found that the 
aggregate membership of the General Society of 147. At 
the Serjtember meeting in 1817 the whole number of mem- 
bers was reported at 256. In April, 1819, the total mem- 
bership was estimated at 281. From this date until 1822 
there were regular meetings, but in that year there were 
two attempts to hold sessions, but were both failures. 
This marks the first flagging of the zeal of the Society. 

In 1824 there began to be agitated the question of the 
advisability of longer continuing the organization, and also 
in that year a committee was appointed to meet a State 
Abolition Society and to try to effect a consolidation of the 
two societies 5 this design was never carried out. 

In September, 1825, the whole number of members was 
placed at 497, and in addition to the regular branches, a 
female society, located in the vicinity of Jamestown, was 
reported, and the Society resolved to recognize it as an 
auxiliary. From this time on there were, at various meet- 
ings, addresses and papers presented by this auxiliary to 
the General Society, and scarcely a meeting passed with- 
out there being adopted some suitable resolution in com- 
mendation of the work being done by the female society, 
and it continually furnishes a subject for praise to the 
President in his semi-annual address. 

In March, 1826, we see a name somewhat more noted than 


the others when Wffl. Swain was elected Secretary. There 
are no other occurrences of importance until 1828, when a 
committee on that subject recommended the division oi the 
Society into two societies, and that there thus be formed 
Eastern and Western sections. Whether this was ever 
done, does not appear on the records. Nothing more 
worthy of note in the internal history of the Society is 
shown until 1834, when the question of longer continuing 
the Society again arose and, after a rather prolonged de- 
bate, it was decided that, as the Society had not yet 
accomplished all it started out to do, it would be wise to 
discontinue. Here the record ceases and we are left to 
suppose that the resolution was immediately carried into 

Such is a brief history of the Society, but not of its work, 
and there remains to be treated yet the various under- 
takings and how it went about carrying them out. Its 
plans and methods will give us not only an insight into the 
workings of the Society, but their success will throw great 
light upon the state of public sentiment on the question 
that was afterwards to become vital in the United States. 

In the preamble to their constitution they ask whether 
they are acting in accord with the time-honored principles 
of liberty in holding slaves ; and then declare their adher- 
ence to the Declaration of 1776, and that all men are 
entitled to freedom without reference to race or color, and 
the more enlightened men are, the greater disgrace in 
keeping our fellow-men in bondage. With such a declara- 
tion of principles as this they were positively committed 
to an aggressive campaign in the interest of freedom. 

The Society was primarily and pre-eminently a Maun- 
mission Society. Of course it was out of its power to do 
anything effective along this line further than the dissem- 
ination of literature on the subject, and in every way 
possible to strive to stir up the consciences of men. It did 
not attempt or profess to be a political organization, and 


only once do we find it discussing the issue as a political 

one, and then it was on the question as to whether the 

voting for candidates for legislature who were not in favor 

of emancipation was an impeachable offence. We are not 

told how it was decided, the record onlv saying that the 

seventh article of bv-laws was struck out, but as this arti- 
cle does not touch that part of the subject, it does not 

throw any light on the subject. 

One of the most effective means of arousing public senti- 
ment in favor of manumission, was of course, to be through 
printing, and so at the very first meeting there was ap- 
pointed a committee to superintend all printing. At the 
second meeting this committee read a letter from Mr. Jo. 
Gales, the editor of the Raleigh Register, in which he 
declined to print an article they had sent him, on the 
grounds that the subject was one on which the people of ^ 

the State were not then in a temper to bear discussion ; 
also because it might produce consequences of a direful 
nature by falling into the hands of the slaves, many of 
whom, he says, can read. Notwithstanding his refusal, 
though he did not openly espouse their cause, yet he ex- 
pressed the wish that an end could be put to the practice 
of slavery, but, according to his opinion, it must be 
brought about by gradual means. 

This refusal led to a proposition to establish a printing 
press subject to their own control. This was never carried 
into effect, but later we find an order to print and distrib- 
ute free ik The Friend of Peace, 7 ' copies of which had been \ 
sent them by the Ohio Peace Society. They also stepped 
outside their proscribed bounds and discussed the printing 
of a pamphlet on war, which may be accounted for, how- 
ever, by the strong Quaker sentiment that was predomi- 
nant in the Society. They also seem to have reached the 
conclusion of the editor of the Register, and we find them 
ordering the printing of an essav in the East Tennessee 


Patriot which should set forth the views of the Societv, as 


it was not seasonable to publish it in this State. It may 
be well to mention just here that there was a similar society 
in Tennessee, and that a special committee had been ap- 
pointed to carry on a correspondence with it, and some 
very encouraging reports were received from that State. 
Besides numerous other articles which were ordered printed, 
a committee was appointed to draw up a paper setting* forth 
the comparative value of free and slave labor. And at 
another time the branches are all advised to subscribe for 
Benj. Lundy's --The Genius of Universal Emancipation. *' 

Another department of work which naturally suggested 
itself, from the name under which they worked for a while, 
would be the encouragement of colonization and the render- 
ing of pecuniary aid to such enterprises ; but this part of 
the work does not seem to have met with a very hearty 
1 response on the part of the members. Perhaps the im- 

practicability of such a scheme readily presented itself to 
their extremely practical minds. At any rate, we rind few 
references to this part of it. At different times the scheme 
is mentioned in the addresses of the President. At one 
time he recommends Hayti, and at another time French 
Guina, for colonization purposes. Also at one meeting a 
motion was made and carried to send money to General 
Colonization Society. This seems to have been the extent 
of the aid and interest. 

The Society also, at one of its earliest meetings, ordered 
the appointment of a commission to examine the laws of 
the different States and to make extracts of any parts re- 
lating to slavery. 

At a later meeting the question of kidnaping was dis- 
cussed, as was also the expediency of examining into 
certain cases of this kind which had been reported, and of 
trying to enforce the law against the practice. Later a 
standing committee was appointed to act in all cases of the 
kind that were reported to them, and they were instructed 
to inquire into certain cases of persons who were reported 


to be held in bondage illegally ; the Society agreeing to 
bear all expenses of the investigation. 

The President, in his address in April, 1821, states that 
New Garden was making the experiment in the tuition of 
colored children in schools by themselves, and expressed 
the wish that it might be successful, and a committee on 
that matter reported favorably, recommending that the 
Society take steps to the same end. Along this same line 
was a resolution asking the slave-owners to teach their 
slaves how to take care of themselves. But afterwards a 
protest against the use of slave labor in the construction 
of the proposed railroad was indefinitely postponed, which 
virtually amounted to killing the proposition. 

As another method of stirring up the public, it was sug- 
gested that a correspondence be entered into with the 
various religious organizations, and accordingly persons 
were appointed to write to the Baptists, Methodists, Pres- 
byterians and Moravians, and seem to have met with very 
hearty sympathy and assurances. At a later date the 
Society drew up a petition for the Baptists, asking the 
legislature to grant negroes license to preach, with certain 

Correspondence had also been opened with various abo- 
lition societies, and with the Bible and peace societies. 
They also sent out an address to the various branches to 
which they were asked to secure signers, and to have it 
forwarded to Congress. At a subsequent meeting two 
hundred and sixty names were reported as secured and 
sent to Thomas Settle, who was the representative at 

To show the temper of the Society and the ardor of some 
of its members, it will not be out of place to quote the 
following from the minutes : 

"There were two essays introduced from Reedy Fork 
branch, one entitled w An apology for becoming a Manu- 
mission member,- and the other comparing some among 



christian professors with Mohometans as far as respect? 
slavery, which were read, approved and directed to be 
signed by the President and Secretary on behalf of the 
Society, and that "hey be forwarded on to the editor of the 
Emancipator for publication." 

In August, 183Q, it was reported and approved in open 
session, that there was nothing libellous in the article for 
which W. L. Garrison was indicted and convicted, and 
that he did not overstep the liberty of speech guaranteed 
to him by the Constitution, and the committee recommend 
that the Association enter its protest against the unconsti- 
tutional decision in Garrison's case. 

Toward the latter part of its existence, the meetings oi 
the Society were conducted in somewhat the form of a 
debate on certain questions suggested by a committee for 
j that purpose. These questions all relate in some way to 

the question of slavery ; either the means of getting rid of 
it, or of arousing sentiment concerning it, or of a citizen's 
duty concerning it. But as they were always with out 
accord on the same side, they must have partaken of the 
nature of harangues instead of debates. 

Ciias. C. Weaver. 


Xorth Carolina has produced many men of genius whose 
lives gave rich prospects of fame and usefulness, who 
doubtless would have brought honor and glory to the 
shrine of the ''Old Xorth State;" but when life has 
seemed most hopeful to them, when their work has begun, 
as it appeared, to cast upon them the halo of success, they 
have been snatched away from the merited renown of this 
world to the rest and greater glory of the Unknown. The 
lamented Fuller, with his thirty ideal years of a faithful 
life, and the invalid Gillespie, struggling against the evils 
of a life-devouring disease for the calling of his muse, are 
illustrations of this lamentable fact — this law of Fate. 


It is not of one who showed talents for the work of the 
poet, the statesman, or the orator that I now write, but of 
one who had gifts which promised him a station of note in 
the scientific world. 

John S. Cairns was born February 10, 1S62 T at Lawrence. 
Mass. He was of Scotch parentage. His father had left 
"the banks and braes* 7 of "bonnie Scotland" for the new- 
prosperity of America. Being an intelligent, well-read 
man, he and his faithful wife brought with them a large 
and valuable stock of Scotch ideas of work and industry. 

Mr. Cairns, when his son was about eight years of age, 
moved to Western Carolina, taking charge of some woolen 
mills several miles from Asheville. Here, in the very 
heart of nature, among the mountains of our own Carolina, 
the subject of this sketch found his life work. He early 
showed much interest in natural history. So absorbed 
was he in this work, that he could not be prevailed upon 
to pay strict attention to school studies. Whenever the 
young lover of nature found an opportunity, he would 
steal away to observe the habits of the wild animals. 
Adam Moss might have been speaking for him when he 
said : "As one goes early to a concert, hall with a passion 
even for the preliminary tuning of the musicians, so my 
ear sits alone in the vast amphitheatre of Nature and waits 
for the earliest warble of the blue-bird, wdiich seems to 
start up somewhere behind the heavenly curtains.*' 

At eighteen, he began his collections, the finest of North 
Carolina specimens. Henceforth his life is an illustration 
of a noble devotion to a high aim ; what Philips Brooks 
might well call "Deep calling unto Deep;*' that longing 
in the mind of man to reach out and lay hold upon the 
heart of Nature — to learn of her. to read her lessons, to 
solve her problems, to hear the music of her many voices 
which but forms a part of the great symphony of God. 
His work was all done under great difficulties. His family 
were opposed to his wanderings among the mountains in 


search of specimens. Then it was hard for him to secure 
the best books to aid him in the first steps of his study. 
He was shamefully cheated in his first efforts at exchanges 
and classifications by men who cared less for the science 
and more for "the loaves and fishes. " And not least of 
all, he was compelled to support himself while at work. 
Notwithstanding these difficulties, he obeyed his call with 
the characteristic zeal of the true scientist, and nature 
greatly rewarded him for his interest in her behalf. 

His work was done entirely in Western North Carolina. 
Here is one of the vastest and richest fields for ornitholog- 
ical study in America. Every hill and dale has a separate 
family of birds ; each woodland discloses new secrets to 
discourage the heart of the observer. Mr. Cairns went to 
work with an untiring zeal and vigilance. As the result 
of his labors, many thousand skins and eggs have been 
added to our zoological museums. To him, more than to 
any one else, is indebted our knowledge of the Western 
Carolina birds, a region differing very much in this, as in 
other respects, from Eastern Carolina. He discovered a 
rare species of the Acadian owl, before unknown to be 
native to our State. Many were the days and nights he 
spent among the rugged Black Mountains and other ranges 
in pursuit of his favorite work. 

In everv particular, Mr. Cairns obeyed the divine com- 
mand, " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy 
might. ' ' His early collections, he sold. His last collection 
numbers about one thousand skins and fifteen hundred 
eggs. Many of these have been separated from the main 
body ; yet it is wonderful to stand and view the remains 
of his work at his home at Weaver ville. So well did he 
obey the "God-given mandate, 4 Work thou in well-doing, ' " 
that the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Museum, 
Harvard, and the State Museum of North. Carolina consid- 
ered it a favor to receive his collections. Not only this, 
but he had correspondence with the leading ornithologists 

— so— 

of this country and made exchanges not only with his own 
countrymen, but also with those of foreign lands. He was 
a member of the American Ornithologists Union. 

Unfortunately for science, he, to a certain extent, pos- 
sessed the peculiarly reticent nature of his great fellow- 
scientist, Thoreau. Hence it is that very little of his work 
has appeared in print. His friends desired him to publish 
a book on North Carolina Ornithology, but he would not. 
He could not be prevailed upon to write for magazines, 
except at the special request of the editors. But as has 
been said of the recluse of Walden Pond, '"He saw as with 
a microscope, heard as with an ear-trumpet, and his mem- 
ory was a photographic register of all he saw and heard." 
Of his magazine articles, two are in the Ornithologist and 
Oologist on the Birds of Buncombe County, North Caro- 
lina. He also wrote a valuable article on the Black- 
Throated Blue-Warbler. He furnished many lists to C. 
Hart Mirriani, Director of the Department of Ornithology, 
at Washington. From observation and personal study he 
made a classified list of the birds of Western North Caro- 
lina, a copy of which is now in the Trinity Historical 

But the greatest and best thing that can be said of Mr. 
Cairns is that he was authentic. Many so-called scientists 
make reports of birds and animals they have not seen, but 
only read of or imagined they have seen. Mr. Cairns was 
a careful observer. He never made a statement unless he 
had a specimen to support his assertion — never entered 
into a discussion without convincing evidence that he was 
right. He was the indirect means of teaching the Academy 
of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia the proper identifica- 
tion of the wild turkey. So skilled was he that he could 
easily identify birds by their mode of flight. 

Speaking of him and his work, Mr. William Brewster, 
of Cambridge, says: "Of all the correspondents whom I 
have had during an experience of more than twenty years, 


Mr. Cairns has proved himself to be one of the most help- 
ful and kind. His generosity has been simply bound! 
He has done far more than any other one man to advance 
our knowledge of the birds of Western North Carolina, 
and his loss to ornithologists is a heavy one." 

Like our own Dr. Mitchell, his life was not only spent 
in the service of science, but it was lost in it. In June. 
1S95, while searching for some rare specimens among the 
Black Mountains, he became separated from his party. 
When he did not return, a search was made. After many 
hours of weary toil and anxious expectation, he was found 
lying by the trunk of a large tree, his head pillowed upon 
a bed of moss, and life extinct. While knocking the 
fungus from a log with his gun, it was discharged, killing 
him instantly. The place where he died is but a few miles 
from where the lifeless body of Dr. Mitchell was found. 
His remains were brought back to his home and buried 
with Masonic honors in the village cemetery, where the 
birds sing their requiem above the still heart that loved 
them so well. 

The Auk. the organ of the American Ornithologists 
Union, in commenting upon the death of Mr. Cairns, says : 
% *His untimely and sad death is a distinct loss to ornithol- 
ogy. Fortunately, some of his notes, so generously sent to 
ornithologists with whom he was in correspondence, may 
yet see the light." Had his life been prolonged he would 
doubtless have given us a valuable and useful scientific 

'•But Xature never did betray the heart that loved her." 
Cairns and Mitchell, in their zeal to serve her, lost their 
lives. And we can but trust that • -beyond the Orient 
meadows of Eternity" they rest upon the slopes of Mount 
Zion, "which abideth forever," and the secrets they longed 
to fathom here are revealed to them there, and they know 
•*as we are known," 

To bear witness of Mr. Cairns' noble labors in behalf of 


the cause he loved so well, there remains a large collection 
of specimens. This is beyond a doubt tlie finest of North 
Carolina bird museums. Many organizations have already 

attempted to secure it. But let us as Xorth Carolinians 
guard this collection as one of the trea>ures of our Stutn. 
nor allow it to _ro beyond our borders. We would rejoice 
to know that Trinity could make this valuable acquisition 
to her store of scientific possessions. 

W. K. Boyd. 



Guide to the Study of American History. By Profs. Edward Chaunning 
and Albert Bushnells Hart, Harvard University, i Boston: Ginn & Co. 1S96. 
Pp xvi, 471 1. Students in American history have long felt the need of some 
such book as this. The development of the method of research in studying 
American history and the accumulation of an immense number of books 
on this subject have made a guide lor the student a matter of necessity. 
Such a work would relieve the teacher of much drudgery, as well as give the 
advanced student a single view of the literature that he must handle, 
[t would also be of service to a large number of students who have not the 
opportunity of wide reading at college or university. This want has been 
met by Profs. Chauuing and Hart. Drawing from their experiences at Har- 
vard they have given in convenient compass much valuable information in 
regard to teaching history, a comprehensive working bibliography, and a 
long list of topics in colonial and national history. The work can but be 
considered an advance step in the study of American history. 

The United States of America, 1765-1S65. By Prof. Edward Channing, 
Harvard University. (New York: Macmillan & Co. 1S96. Pp. ix, 352}. This 
small work is intended primarily for the English public and in that sense it 
ought to be a success. It takes a sane view of points that have caused per- 
plexity and is free from the blindness of national vanity. The origin of the 
Revolution is treated with broadness and the outbreak of the civil war is 
fairly put. As an outline for college classes in which much parallel reading 
is done Prof. Channing's work ought also to be a success. It will, however, 
be found too much abridged for the general reader. 

The True George Washington. By Paul Leicester Ford (Philadelphia: 
Lipincott. 1896. Pp. 319). Much of the heroic has undoubtedly encumbered 
the biographies of Washington. He has been deified and the reader has not 
always gotten what Mr. Ford would call a "true" picture — by which he seems 
really to mean a commou-place picture. The worst part of this book is the 
title. One can applaud Mr. Ford for making this picture; for there are a 
large number of people who will be glad to know the minute facts of Wash- 
ington's life, how he ate. how many teeth he had pulled, and the small talk 
about his private relations with women : but it will be hard to forgive that 
satisfied spirit which makes him consider his own the only ''true" Washing- 
ton. Apart from this there is much that is good in this book. It is based on 
a careful study of the Washington correspondence. The pictures of Wash 
ington's "Social Life," "Friends," "Enemies," "Tastes and Amusements," 
etc, are clear, easy, and but for a, perhaps unavoidable, lack of continuity 
they would be very interesting. 

Historical Briefs. By James Schouler, with Biography. (New T York: 
Dodd, Meade &. Co 1S96. Pp. viii 310). The many readers of the works of 
this indefatigable writer and genial gentleman will be glad to see this volume. 
It contains his most considerable magazine articles of recent years, besides 
two essays "Historic Monographs'' and "Historic Style" which are here 

—81 — 

• 1 for the first titne. To these has been added a Bio jr tphy. The fugitive 
works of a man who has attained equal rlistinc rical 

literature ought to interest the general public. Here we have Mr. Schouler 

in his most intimate relation. His quiet and strong personality appears in 
every paragraph First in the series of essays is that on Francis Parkmau, 
a faithful picture of 1 man and writer. It is, however, the biogn 

of Mr. Schouler that will most interest historical students His life has been 
a busy one. Perhaps it is from his Scotch ancestry that begets his power of 
work. The family, it may be said, is not German, as it so often supposed. 
and the name is pronounced ■•Schooler" and not -'Schuler." A consulting 
lawyer in Boston, the anther of several standard books in legal subjects, law 
lecturer, historian in no mean sense, lecturer in history, and writer on ques- 
tions of passing political interests — these are the sides of this man's life. In 
each line of thought he has made many friends. Perhaps none of bis fr : ei 
will more appreciate this timely volume than those younger men. now in 
man}' parts of the world, who have sat under his faithful instruction at 
Johns Hopkins University. 

Life of Braxton Craven. By Prof. Jerome Dowd, Trinity College, (N C) 
(Raleigh, N. C: Edwards &Br6ughton. 1896. Pp. 246). If the life of on; 
North Carolinian ought to be written it is that of Dr. Craven. In the hearing 
of the writer no man has been so often pronounced our greatest native cit 
izen as Dr. Craven. His struggles in boyhood, his mastery of opposition, 
his loving work for young men, his sacrifices for education, and his death for 
Trinity College, the child of his hopes — all these measure his strength. 
Prof Dowd has brought to his work much patience, love, wisdom, and in- 
sight He has made a faithful picture. Dr. Craven began life as a poor boy 
in Randolph county, N. C. He came from the section which sixty years 
earlier had been the home of the Regulators. It was a democratic region 
and had almost no slaves. Had the boy been born in a section dominated by 
the slave-holding class he would not have had an opportunity of self-develop- 
ment. As it was he was taken by Nathen Cox, a kind hearted farmer of 
Quaker tendencies, sent for a time to the neighborhood school, and at length 
given a fall opportunity to start even with the other boys in the community. 
The life of Dr. Craven cannot fail to be interpreted as a protest against 

The Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century. By Philip 
A. Bruce, Corresponding Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society. (New 
York: Macmillan S: Co. 2 vols. 1896. Pp. xix. 634, vi. 647). Adequate space 
is not given here to review so pretentious a work as this. Ever since the 
appearance of Weeden's Ecomomic History of New England historical stu- 
dents have desired that some one wouid conduct a similar investigation in 
the southern colonies. Mr. Bruce, enjoying excellent faculties in connec- 
tion with his position as Corresponding Secretary of the Virginia Historical 
Society, has undertaken this task for Virginia. He has succeeded in produc- 
ing a valuable work of two solid volums. It is to be regretted that he has 
found it necessary to confine his investigations to the seventeenth century. 


H is to be hoped that the work may be continued bey< nu\ that limit and broi 
iccording to the original purpose of the author, dpwn to the civil war. It- 
scope may be indicated by the titles of some of the chapters: "Aboriginal 

Virginia. Its Physical Character;" "Indian Economy;" "Agricultural Devel- 
opment;" * , Systtrm of Labor, the Servant — the Slave;" "Domestic Can- 
omy;" "Relative Value of Estates;" "Manufactured Supplies;" "Money" 
and "The Town " The style is not easy. Perhap«. it could not be made 
easy with such a mass of facts as is necessarily presented. The work: is for 
students. It is a mine of information, not a machine of pleasure. It wi\' 
stimulate research in Southern history and will afford writers of the hi 
of other States than Virginia a basis of comparison that cannot fail to be of 
great benefit. Besides this, it is of much interest to North Carolinians; for 
until the eighteenth century North Carolina life differed in no important 
sense from that of Virginia. 

The Beginning of a Sat ion. with Special Reference to the Life and Char- 
acter of the People. 3y Edward Kggleston. ^New York: D. Appleton 6c 
Co. 1S96. Pp. xi, 5771. Historical students have been expecting this work 
for some time. The reputation of the author as a writer of culture history 
makes its appearance a matter of inu rest. A number ot anicies on this phase 
of our history were published by Mr. Eggleston in the Century Magazine in 
1S92 From these he has drawn to some extent, yet the volume is substan- 
tially new. It comes fresh with the tone of the author's best manner, and 
holds one with the interest of Parknian's delightful style. It is clear, lively, 
and human. It has a rich background of life. He who reads it with the 
sense of an antiquarian may be disappointed; for it omits many of the minute 
points of the narrative. But the reader with a merely normal impulse, 
scholarly or otherwise, will find it very attractive. It is said in the preface that 
this volume is the result of many years of patient investigation. It treats 
of the colonies up to 1650. It is to be followed by others of like nature. 
How many are to be expected or how great a period is to be covered — we are 
not informed. It is to be hoped that the period will be long. It is impossi- 
ble not to mention, also, tiie excellent manner iu which the book is printed 
and the reasonable price for which it is offered. 

John S. Bassett. 





Courses of study in Latin, Greek, German, French, English 
Literature, History, Political Science, Mathematics, Econ- 
omy, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, 
Mineralogy, Astronomy and Bible. 


The course of study in this department is broad, and pre- 
pares students for the grasp of the larger business questions 
of the day. It is arranged for those young men who can 
spend only a year at college, and who do not wish to take a 
literary course. 

Recent donations of One Hundred and Two Thousand 
Dollars to the endowment fund. 


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Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000) have been spent 
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Expenses very low. Send /or Catalogue. 

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In the Johns Hopkins University Studies in 
History and Politics. 

Local Government and Free Schools in South Carolina. By B. J. Ram age. 

The Religious Development in the Province of North Carolina. By Stephen 
B. Weeks. 

Church and State in North Carolina. By Stephen B. Weeks. 

Local Government in the South and Southwest. By Edward W. Bemis 
and others. 

The Constitutional Beginnings of North Carolina. By John S. Bassett. 

The Carolina Pirates and Colonial Commerce. By S. C. Hughson. 

Government in the Colony of South Carolina. By Edson L. Whitney. 

Slavery and Servitude in the Colony of North Carolina (1G63-1865). By John 

S. Bassett. 

The Southern Quakers and Slavery. By Stephen B. Weeks. Cloth. 
A full list of publications will be sent on application to 





By Oliver J. Thatcher and Ferdinand Schwill, 

Professors in the University of Chicago. Svo. 68l pp. With ten maps. $'2 00 net. 

A text-book for the use of freshmen and sophomore classes in colleges and 
tdvanced classes in high schools, covering the period from the first century 
to the Italian Renaissance in the i6th century. No single volume history- 
has before done this, and yet the demand has been one generally felt. The 
publishers are sure that in offering it to teachers they will afford them the 
means of conducting their courses in Mediaeval History in the most satisfac- 
tory manner. 

Second edition in press within three weeks of publication. 

Stories of Literature, 

Science and History- 

By Henrietta Christian Wright, 

A "New Volume Just Issued. 


—1860-1896. 12 mo, 11,25. 

Miss Wright here continues the attract- 
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in her "Children s Stories" in English Lit- 
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civil war. and treating their works and 
personalities in a simple manner, inter- 
esting to young readers. 


— 1660-1860. i2ino, 11.25. 

Elliot, the translator of the Bible into the 
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Stowe. Whittier, Poe, and Emerson are 
here considered, bringing the history of 
the subject down to the period of the civil 

Previous Volumes in the Series Each $1.25. 
Children's Stories in English Literature. 

Tal:e>in to Shakespeare. 
Children's Stories in English Literature. 

Shakespeare to Tennyson. 
Children's Stories of the Great Scientists. 

Children's Stories in American History. 

Childreirs Stories of American Progress. 


Philosophy and Psychology. 


By Alfrbp Weber, Professor in the Uni- 
versity of Strasburg. Translated bv)Fraulc 
Thilly, Ph.D., Protessor of Philosophy 
in the University of Missouri, from the 
Fifth French Edition, revised and en 
larged. With bibliography. Svo, $2.50 n t 
The leading authorities are unanimous 
in declaring this to be the most satisfacto- 
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Prof. William James, says: ''From its 

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By George Tun mbcll L * r»D, Professor of 
Philosophy in Vale University, niao. 224. 
pages, $I.uo net. 
i An elementary text-book tor high schools 

■ and academies, recently adopted as a text- 
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I Mass.. Rhode Island State Norma! School. 

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historical papers 


Published by the Historical Society of Trinity College, 



Under the Supervision of the Department of History. 



i. The Assassination of John Walter Stephens I 

Luther M. Carlton. 

2. The Case of the State vs. Will . 12 

John S. Eassett. 

3. William J. Yates 21 

Zeb. F. Curtis. 

4. What I Know About "Schocco" Jones 29 

R. B. Creecy. 

5. Dennis Heartt 34 

W. K. Boyd. 

6. Landholding in Colonial North Carolina 44 

John S. Bassett. 

7. Running the Blockade from Confederate Ports 62 

John S. Bassett. 

8. The Legal Regulation of Public Morals, Etc 68 

B. F. Carpenter. 

9. Bart. F. Moore on Secession and Reconstruction 75 

J. P. Gibbons. 

10. The Life and Character of Jacob Thompson 83 

J. F. Bivins. 


The second series of the Trinity College Historical Papers 
represents work done mostly in the Trinity College His- 
torical Society. The kind reception given to the first series 
by the public leads me to hope the same consideration may 
be given to the papers now issued. They are the outgrowth 
of the devotion of young men to the neglected field of 
Southern history. It is hoped that they may not be found 
useless in creating a better knowledge of Southern history 
among the people of our common country. 

John S. Bassett, 

May 16, 189S. Professor of History. 

IDistorical papers. 



The year 1870 is one of the years that will go down in 
history as one of great social and political significance, and 
it well marks the culmination and the decline ox the Ku 
Klux organization. Xever before, nor perhaps since, was 
there a time when prejudice and feeling, intermingled with 
crime, ran so rampant along social and political lines. It 
was a time when the negro, or the white man who took any 
part with the negro in politics, on hearing after nightfall 
the clattering of horses' feet or the loud tap on his door. 
would feel his blood run cold in his veins for fear there was 
a raid on foot and perchance he might be the victim. 

John Walter Stephens was born October 14, 1834, in 
Guilford county. X. C. His parents were good people, 
comfortably situated on a farm, and were consistent mem- 
bers of the Methodist church. His father died when he 
was about 18 years of age, leaving a wife, four sons and 
two daughters. Walter, with his brothers, lived on the 
farm and supported the family. A few years later he 
learned to make harness, and went into the harness busi- 
ness. His education was of a very ordinary sort, for he 
had only the advantages of the common schools. He 
studied a great deal at home, however. When he grew 
into more matured life he "often mourned his lack of 
education, and he used to say that was what every poor 
man owed to slavery." 

In 1857 he married Xannie E. Walters, who died two 

2 Assassination of Stephens. 

years later, leaving him a little girl one year old. At this 
time lie was engaged in the harness business in Wentworth, 
N. C. In 18(30 he was married thp second time to Frances 
Groom, of Wentworth. 

About this time he began to trade on tobacco, and con- 
nected himself with one Powell, a manufacturer. He 
worked as collector and agent for Powell, spending the 
greater portion of his time in Yorkville, S. C. 

The war now came on and he went to Greensboro. N. C, 
and stood an examination, by which he got an appoint- 
ment. He belonged to what was known as ; -press agents," 
a class of men who went over the country pressing horses 
to be used in the war. He was not in the war until its 
close, having from some cause been allowed to return to 
his home in Wentworth. 

He was known by all as an honest, fair-dealing, christian 
man. He was a most loving husband and kind father, and 
an energetic worker in the Methodist church. 

Soon after his return from the war he got into a diffi- 
culty with Tom. Ratclift'e. There was a. grudge between 
the two in this way : William Ratclitfe went to Greensboro 
at the same time Stephens did to stand the examination for 
an appointment. Stephens was some sharper than William 
Eatclift'e and got the appointment. This angered his 
brother, Tom. Ratcliff, to some extent, and it seemed that 
he determined to get even with him for his brother's sake. 

Tom. Ratclift'e lived next door to Stephens and ran a store 
just across the street. RatclinVs chickens — and he had a 
great many — kept using in Stephens' barn and eating up 
grain and other food stuffs. They were also destroying 
his garden. Stephens asked him to make some arrange- 
ment to prevent this. Ratcliffe, though warned several 
times, seemed to pay no attention whatever to the matter. 
One morning Stephens went down to his barn and found 
it well stocked with Ratcliffe's poultry. He at once made 
chase, caught two, and executed them on the spot. Call 

Historical Papers. 3 

ing to Mrs. Ratcliffe, who was in lier garden n^ar by, he 
told her that he had killed two of her fowls, and that she 
could have them, and that the cause of the killing was 
evident. She hew into a passion and would not accept the 
chickens, and Stephens, without having any words with 
her, good naturedly and smiling, carried them into his 
house and ordered them cooked. Ratcliffe is informed of 
it, and thinks that now is his chance. He goes to the 
court house and procures a warrant for the arrest of 
Stephens, charging him with having stolen the chickens. 
Stephens was arrested and placed in jail, where he re- 
mained all night. Early next morning he gave bond and 
returned home. 

Ratcliffe was seated on his store porch enjoying the in- 
vigorating breeze of the early morning, chatting with some 
gentlemen. Stephens had very little to say ; he was a man 
of very few words, and in this case he acted. Placing his 
revolver in his pocket, and taking up a large, heavy hick- 
ory walking stick, he went out and walked coolly and 
calmly across the street to Ratcliffe' s store porch. He 
stepped up on the steps, and, without hesitating, struck 
Ratcliffe a heavy blow on the head. Lieutenant Baker, an 
enrolling officer, who was standing on the porch, interfered, 
and when he did so. Stephens pulled his pistol and began 
to shoot. When the smoke had cleared away Lieutenant 
Baker was found to have an ugly scalp wound ; the ball, 
starting just over his eye, cut a deep furrow around to the 
back of his head. It was indeed a close call, but turned 
out nothing serious. Also Patrick Law, a magistrate's 
son, was accidentally shot through the arm. 

At the magistrate's trial he was bound over to court. 
This affair would not have given him much trouble had 
he not gone into politics. Every politician then of any 
note had stolen either a cow, pig, horse or chicken, or was 
accused of it. especially if he happened to be a Republican. 

After the above incident, when he entered the political 

4 Assassination of Stephens. 

arena he was given the name of "Chicken" Stephens, by 
his opponents. This went much harder with him than it 
otherwise would have done for this reason : In 18G6 he 
moved to Yanceyville, which is the county .seat of Caswell 
county. He moved before court convened. The two places 
were only about 25 miles apart, and he awaited a summons 
to trial ; but none came. Still other courts convened and 
the case was never called, nor did they send for him. 
Finally he learned that the case had been dismissed ; and 
so he was never given a chance to exonerate himself or let 
the testimony come out in its true light. 

All of his life up till about now, he had been a Demo- 
crat, but had never taken any very active part in politics. 
In Yanceyville he was engaged in the tobacco business for 
some time. Then he served the people for several years as 
Justice of the Peace in a very satisfactory manner. He 
had the respect and confidence of the entire county. 

But now came the great turning point in his life. He 
changed from the Democratic party, with which he had 
voted so many years, to the Republican. The Repub- 
licans had a large majority in Caswell, consisting mostly 
of negroes. Stephens was at once recognized as leader of 
the Republican forces and received the nomination for the 
State Senate. He ran against Hon. Bedford Brown, a man 
who had been in the U. S. Senate for twenty years. This 
campaign was one in which much feeling was displayed. 
The neighbors and friends who had held Stephens in high 
esteem, turned their backs upon him and circulated slan- 
derous reports concerning him. In fact, it may truly be 
said that he was socially ostracised. 

Bedford Brown was old and experienced, and was thought 
to have manipulated the vote so as to be counted in. 
Stephens at once contested the election and obtained his 
seat. This victory immediately called forth the most bitter 
abuse that could be heaped upon him. He served one term 
in the Senate, was re-elected and served another. He con- 

Historical Papers. 5 

ducted himself in a manly and most dignified manner, and 
commanded the respect of that body. 

When Stephens was nominated for the Senate, such a 
sentiment was worked up against him. and so diabolical 
were the threats made by the adherents of the opposite 
party, that for his protection at night he had his windows 
barred with iron and heavier locks put on his doors, and 
a number of fire arms, that would be available on short 
notice, placed in his home. 

The Ku Klux were abroad in the land and nightly were 
they whipping, burning and hanging. These were the 
adherents of the opposite party and many nights Stephens 
heard them come, stop at his house and then ride on. 
They seemed to have no idea of attacking Stephens in 
his own house, as their actions plainly demonstrated ; 
but they were continually warning him that, did he not 
leave the country, change his political affiliations, or cease 
to assume the leadership of the Republican party in that, 
the 24th Senatorial district, he might expect the worst, and 
that his wife would be a widow and his children orphans. 
So loud and strong were these threats, that for the protec- 
tion of his family he had his life insured for £10,000 and 
carried two deringers, one in each vest pocket, all the time. 
His position was a trying one, but he bore it heroically. 
He was ostracised, jeered at when on the streets, abused, 
villitied and slandered, yet he went his way quietly and 
opened not his mouth. Finally he was expelled from the 
Methodist church for his political opinions 

It was in the campaign of 1870, on Saturday, May 21st, 
that there was a Democratic speaking and mass meeting in 
the court house at Yanceyville. Stephens lived almost in 
speaking distance of the court house and could get a plain 
view of it. He saw the people from the country coming in, 
and he decided that he would go over and see what was going 
to be done. He was in great danger and was conscious of 
the fact, but he went to show them that he was not afraid 

6 Assassination of Stephens. 

to go, and also to see what tactics the Democrats would 
use in the campaign. When he started, his wife, trying 
to prevail on him not to go, said: "Mr. Stephens, you 
know that is a Democratic meeting, and I am afraid you 
will get into trouble. " But on he went, tie had to pass 
his brother-in-law's house and a niece came out and spoke 
to him. He told her he was going to the court house to the 
Democratic speaking. She tried to persuade him not to go, 
and said she feared there would be trouble. He replied : 
"I am not going to bother any one and one had better not 
bother me. n She sow that it was of no use to talk to him 
longer, for he had determined to go. He little thought 
then that there had already been set a trap to catch him 
and put him out. of the way, and that the Ku Klux were 
the planners. But such was the case ; and they had laid 
their plans well. Before entering the court house he met 
ex-Sheriff Wiley, whom he had been trying to induce to 
run for sheriff of the county on the Republican ticket, as 
there were few in the Republican ranks who were compe- 
tent to till such an office. Wiley was a Democrat and 
seemed to be taken with the idea. He told Stephens that 
he would give him a definite answer before the day (dosed. 

Stephens then entered the court room and sat down just 
in front of one of his brothers. Another brother was just 
across the aisle and a brother-in-law was also in the room. 
'Squire Hodnett. one of Caswell's prominent citizens, was 
speaking. Stephens took out a note-book and pencil, and 
seemed to be jotting down some things the speaker was 
saying. The crowd cast very sour looks at him. and the 
speaker said : %; Ah ! there sits that Stephens now, taking 
notes." From this he began to abuse him. Stephens said 
nothing, but a smile could be seen to play over his face 

Presently ex-Sherilf Wiley came in and touched Stephens 
on the shoulder, and said one or two words to him. He 
arose, and he and Wiley went out together. His brothers 

Historical Papers. 7 

noticed it, but gave it very little thought. There were 
scores in the room, however, who understood its meaning 
full well. 

There was an old room in the lower end of the court 
house, on the first floor, which was formerly the clerk's 
office, but was now used for a wood room. 

The speaking was over and he hud not come home. 
Night came on and still he had not returned. Suspicion 
was aroused at once. His wife was almost raving and said 
she knew her husband had been killed, or he would come 
to her. She always knew where he was and knew when to 
expect him home. 

His brothers went in search of him, and several other 
white citizens, on hearing of his disappearance, kindly 
volunteered to assist in the search. On making enquiry, 
this white man had seen him in one place, that one in an- 
other, and some saw him leaving town and so on, all about 
the same time. But strange to say, as many negroes as 
there were, not one of them had seen him leave the court 
house ; and if any one would notice his movements it would 
certainly have been they, for he was all in all to them. 
It was settled in the minds of many that he was still 
in the court house, and it was immediately surrounded 
and every room in the house searched, except one, and the 
key to that could be found nowhere. 

The negroes came in great numbers and said that they 
knew their leader had been killed, and that he was still 
somewhere in the court house. A careful watch was insti- 
tuted for the night around the building. Although the 
negroes were satisfied that their leader had been foully 
dealt with, they made no demonstration except that of 
sorrow and grief, for they loved him. It is said that 
it was strange to see the troubled faces of the negroes on 
this night. They offered no violence at all, and during the 
whole night nothing but order prevailed. It is said by some 
who were on guard that night that they expected that at 

8 Assassination of Stephens. 

any minute the Ku Klux would make a raid on them, but 
according to the watch men's calculations, the Clan thought 
they had done a good day's work and would rest for the 
night. Another thing was noticeable: As many white 
people as there were on the streets when the search was 
begun, they had quietly broken up in small groups and 
talked in undertones, and then quietly departed for their 
respective homes early in the evening, seemingly not aware 
that the leader of the Radicals was missing and that it was 
causing much concern among his followers. 

At the first appearance of light next morning, a tall 
negro mounted the shoulders of another and looked through 
the window .of the wood room, which could not be opened 
on the night before. There a horrible sight met his vision. 
The long, slender body of Stephens was lying on a pile 
of wood with a slip noose around his neck. The noose was 
buried deep in the rlesh and the jugular vein was cut. The 
coroner, Dr. Yancey, who was near by, was immediately 
sent for, and the door was forced opened. The coroner 
was the first one to enter. Upon examination it was found 
that, besides being strangled and his jugular severed, he 
had been stabbed twice in the region of t\ie heart and his 
leg broken. Beside him lay his hat and the bloody dirk 
with which he had been stabbed. The two deringers which 
he was known to have had, on going to the court house, 
were gone ; but his gold watch and chain were still on his 
body. There were only a very few drops of blood on the 
floor and one on the window-sill. It was quite evident 
that the assassin, after committing the deed, had gone out 
at the window, for the door was found to be locked and 
thumb-bolted on the inside. 

The coroner's inquest resulted in the decision that the 
"deceased had come to his death by the hands of some 
nnknown party." It seemed to all, who really knew the 
depths to which politics and some political leaders had 
sunk, and the great extremes to which so-called good citi- 

Historical Papers. 9 

zens would go, before they would see the black man led to 
an honest victory, just this: When he left the court-room 
with ex-Sheriff Wiley he was decoyed down to this room, 
pushed in, seized and given no showing, deprived of his 
weapons aud rendered helpless. He was then foully assas- 
sinated in sight of his own home. From the window of 
the room could be seen his two little girls playing on the 
lawn. The body was removed to his home and buried in the 
afternoon, which was Sunday afternoon, a large number of 
the citizens attending the funeral; and, to be plain, no 
doubt some of his assassins were attendants. Suspicion 
pointed to several prominent citizens, but it seemed im- 
possible to get any evidence on account of the Ku Klux 
organization, which had now, as it always had, power to 
execute any plan or purpose however questionable, and 
then have the assurance that it could not be proved on 

Some weeks after. Governor Holden ordered Kirk's men 
to Yanceyville to investigate the matter, make arrests and 
endeavor to bring the criminals to justice. They were 
about three hundred in number, with Kirk, Major Yates 
and Colonel Burgen at their head. It was a rough and 
reckless, but determined band. 

There was a Democratic speaking in the court house and 
Hon. J. M. Leach was speaking. It was whispered about 
among the negroes that Kirk's men were coming. The 
negroes seemed to know all about it. They would say 
Kirk's men were so many miles away, soon they would say 
they were at such and such a point, and at length they said 
4 'they are here." One who had been catching these whis- 
perings among the darkies looked out of a window, but 
immediately took his head back in, for around the court 
house, with guns pointing up at the windows and looking 
determined, were Kirk's men indeed. Guards were placed 
in the hall and at the doors, and no one was allowed to go 
out. The affair seemed to have been worked up well before 

10 Assassination of Stephens. 

hand, for Major Yates immediately entered the room with 
a posse of men and with a long list of names, and began to 
make arrests. 

Mr. Leach, the speaker, when he saw the uniforms, 
glittering swords and large guns proceeding down the aisle, 
very gracefully bowed and said he would resume his speech 
under more favorable circumstances. 

The first person arrested was an old man named Bow. 
When told to consider himself under arrest, he jerked back 
violently and straightened his arm to its full length at the 
face of Major Yates. The Major said nothing, but drew 
his revolver and fired a shot over Bow's head. This was 
enough, and the remaining arrests were made without any- 
thing to mar the solemnity of the occasion. 

Colonel Burgen, by this time, was on his way with a 
posse of men, to ex- Sheriff Wiley's home, some seven miles 
distant in the country. He was found in his field and tied 
on a bare-back horse. His hands were tied behind him 
and his feet tied together under the horse. In this manner 
he was brought to Yanceyville and placed under guard. 
He was afterwards carried to Graham, together with the 
others who had been arrested. 

District Judge Bond issued a writ to have Wiley and the 
others brought to Raleigh for trial. They went. The trial 
lasted for many days, but the testimony amounted to very 
little in solving the mystery and proving who did the kill- 
ing. This was so because the witnesses largely belonged 
to the Ku Klux, and they swore in favor of each other. 
The jury, too, no doubt, w-as composed of members of the 
same organization. Wiley testified that he called Stephens 
out to tell him he could not run for sheriff on the Repub- 
lican ticket, and that he left Stephens at the bottom of the 
st«ps, went across the street and saw no more of him. 
Others corroborated his statement, and finally it ended in 
an acquittal of all. This was a time when ' 'ignorance was 
bliss," for it was certainly ; -folly to be wise," especially so 
if one told what he knew. 

Historical Papers. 11 

Hamp. Johnson, an old negro living only a few feet away 
from the room in which Stephens was killed, whispered it 
among che negroes that he saw those who went in the room 
and heard a tremendous scuttle. But the Ku Klux, it was 
thought, found the means of silencing him, for "Old 
Hamp" never after that knew anything at all and lived in 
good style without working. 

Some years ago ex-Sheriff Wiley was on his death-bed, 
and it is said that he was raving and continually talking of 
Stephens, saying that he could see him and that he had 
helped to kill him. This report, however, was denied by 
his friends. 

Less than two years ago Felix Roan, a citizen of Yancey- 
ville, died ; and it is reported that before he died he con- 
fessed that he helped to assassinate Stephens, and that 
Wiley also helped. The newspapers reported it, saying 
that Stephens' widow was present and Roan asked her 
forgiveness before he died, and that Mrs. Stephens said she 
would forgive him. It is almost a settled thing in the 
minds of many people who remember the occurrence, that 
Roan helped to assassinate Stephens and that he confessed 
it on his death-bed. But his friends and relatives denied it, 
and it was soon covered up. As to Mrs. Stephens forgiving 
him, that is entirely untrue, for she had then been dead 
three years. 

Other cases have been reported in which certain men on 
their death-beds have made, or have tried to make, con- 
fessions concerning this assassination, but they were 
silenced or suppressed. 

John Walter Stephens 1 courage and organizing ability 
was unquestioned, and under his lead it was known that 
Caswell county would continue to give an "overwhelming 
Radical majority, and for this he was killed. He gave up 
his life for the rights of the people — the right of equal 
manhood suffrage. ,? He was unswerving in his brave ad- 
herence to the principals he professed. He crowned a 

12 The Case of The State vs. Will. 

worthy life by a martyr's death ; he was pursued with 
fearful malice and bigoted hate to the very portals of the 
tomb. The perpetrators of this foul deed have escaped 
the punishment of their crime, at least by the law. 

Luther M. Carlton. 

Note.— The material for this paper is taken from family records, and 
statements of citizens who are thoroughly acquainted with the incidents 
related. L. M. C. 


One of the most remarkable cases ever tried in the North 
Carolina courts was the case of The State vs. Will. It was 
the most important case on the subject of slavery and fixed 
a slave's right to defend himself against the cruel and un- 
just punishment of a master. It was decided at the Decem- 
ber term, 1834, of the Supreme Court (State vs. Will, 1 
Devereux and Battle, 121-172). The facts of the case are 
as follows : 

Will was the slave of Mr. James S. Battle, of Edgecombe 
county, and was placed under the direction of an overseer 
named Richard Baxter, a man whose temper differed 
materially from that of his pious namesake. On January 
22, 1834, Will and another slave had a dispute over a hoe 
which W T ill claimed the right of using exclusively, since 
he had helved it in his own time. The foreman, who was 
also a slave, directed another negro to use the hoe, where- 
upon Will, after some angry words, broke the helve of the 
hoe and went off to work at a cotton screw about one -fourth 
of a mile away . The foreman reported the matter to Bax- 
ter, who at once went to his own house. While there his wife 
was heard to say : ; <I would not. my dear," to which he re- 
plied very positively: "I will." He then took his gun, 
mounted his horse, and proceeded to the cotton screw, order- 
ing the foreman in the meantime to take his cowhide and 
follow at some little distance. He approached unobserved 
to Will, who was throwing cotton into the press, and ordered 

Historical Papers. 13 

him to come down. The slave complied, taking off his hat 
in an humble manner. The two were heard to exchange 
some words, which were not understood, and then Will 
began to run. He had gone ten or fifteen yards when Bax- 
ter fired, filling with shot a place twelve inches square in 
the back of the fugitive. Testimony showed that this 
wound might have proved fatal ; but the terrified slave 
continued to flee. After a moment the overseer directed 
two other slaves to pursue him through the fields, saying, 
"He could not go far," while he himself left his gun and 
rode around the field. Here he met the fugitive and pur- 
sued him on foot. He soon overtook and collared him. 
At this time Will had run more than five hundred yards 
and not more than eight minutes had elapsed since he was 
shot. Stinging and bleeding from the wounds of that out- 
rage and fearing a worse punishment all his instincts of 
self-preservation were aroused. He closed with his antag- 
onist and in the struggle drew a knife and got his adver- 
sary's thumb in his month. The pursuing slaves now 
coming up were ordered to take hold of the enraged negro. 
In striking at these new foes Will wounded the overseer 
in the thigh. In further struggling he wounded him with 
his knife in the upper arm, and it was this wound that 
proved fatal. After dealing these blows the slave released 
Baxter's thumb and escaped to the woods ; but later in the 
day of his own accord he surrendered himself to his mas- 
ter. The next day he was arrested. On being told that 
Baxter had bled to death from the wound in the arm, he 
exclaimed: "Is it possible!" After the escape of Will 
the other slaves found the overseer sitting where the strug- 
gle had been. He said to them : "Will has killed me; if 
I had minded what my poor wife said I should not have 
been in this fix." Will was tried in the lower court and 
convicted of murder. His plea was that he had been under 
the impression that his life was in danger and that the 
crime ought accordingly to be reduced from murder to 

14 The Case of The State vs. Will. 

manslaughter ; and on the strength of this plea he appealed 
to the Supreme Court of the State. In this court he was 
represented by Bartholemew F. Moore, then a young law- 
yer of no great reputation, and George W. Mordecai. 
Against him was the Attorney-General. J. R. J. Daniel. 
It is the argument of Mr. Moore and the decision it won 
that has made this case famous. Bartholemew Figures 
Moore was born on January 20, J 801, near Fishing Creek, 
Halifax county. His father, James Moore, was a man of 
little wealth. The boy spent his early years on his father's 
farm and in attendance on such schools as were at hand. 
Not born to wealth he learned from the first to have sym- 
pathy for the lowly, and he retained throughout a long and 
active life a deep confidence in the common man. He studied 
in the school of Mr. John Bobbitt, of Louisburg, N. C, 
and in 1820 graduated at the University. He then studied 
law and in 1823 began to practice it at Nashville, N. C. It 
was a hard struggle for a young man starting a piofession in 
those days without influence or position. He worked with 
quiet determination, reading assiduously. At the end of 
seven years he had made, it is said, only seven hundred 
dollars by his profession ; yet the first five hundred that 
he had he spent in travel. In 1835, after twelve years of 
struggle in Nash, he returned to his native county and 
settled on a small farm near the town of Halifax. At this 
time his reputation had begun to broaden and success came 
more rapidly. He was thrice chosen to the G-eneral Assem- 
bly, and in 1848 he was appointed Attorney- General of the 
State. In the same year he removed to Raleigh, where he 
afterwards resided. In 1850 he was appointed a commis- 
sioner to prepare the Revised Code of the laws of the State. 
which was afterwards published in 1855. When the issues 
of the war came on he took a strong position against seces- 
sion and expended all his energy to prevent that movement. 
In his will he said of this phase of his life : %i I was unable, 
under my conviction of the solemn duties of patriotism, to 

Historical Papers. 16 

give any excuse for. or countenance to. the civil war of 
1861, without sacrificing all self-respect. My judgment 
was the instructor of my conscience and no man suffered 
greater misery than did I, as the scenes of battle unfolded 
the bloody carnage of war in the midst of our homes. I 
had been taught under the deep conviction of my judg- 
ment that there could be no reliable liberty of my State 
without the union of the States, and being devoted to my 
State, I felt that I should desert her whenever I should aid 
to destroy the Union.-' After the war he was invited to 
Washington to consult with President Johnston in regard 
to the future policy with respect to the State. His advice 
was immediate restoration to the Union. The policy of 
negro suffrage and military rule later adopted he opposed 
continually. Though a Republican he opposed the ex- 
cesses of that party in politics. He continued for the most 
part in private life until his death. November 27. 1878. 
His painstaking and laborious study of the law had brought 
him ample reward. At his death his estate was valued at 
more than 8600.000. 

It was while struggling against many odds at Xashviile 
that he was retained in the case of The State vs. Will. I 
have been unable to learn under what circumstances he 
came to be interested in this case. It is possible that this 
being the case of a slave it was thought that there was no 
need to be careful in selecting a lawyer. Yet it must be 
confessed that such a surmise is not in keeping with the 
feelings of humanity and honor which have usually charac- 
terized members of the family of which Will was the 
property. At any rate no better lawyer, as the event 
showed, could have been employed. 

The point of the case was the right of a slave to defend 
himself on due provocation from his master or from anyone 
in the position of the master. Would the provocation, 
which in the case of a white man would mitigate murder into 
manslaughter, be good in law in the case of a slave? Of 

16 The Case of The State vs. Will. 

course such a problem involved the whole relation of a 
slave to his master. It was of special importance at this 
time because, as Mr. Moore said in opening his argument, 
there was then a tendency in public opinion to consider 
1 'that any means may be resorted to to coerce the perfect 
submission of the slave to the master's will; and that any 
resistance to that will, reasonable or unreasonable, lawfully 
places the life of the slave at the master's feet." It was 
necessary, he added, to find the line ' -between the lawful 
and unlawful exercise of the master's power ." 

The ; -tendency" here referred to had been indicated five 
years earlier in the case of The State vs. Mann (2 Devereux, 
263), in which the point was decided as to a master's lia- 
bility for a battery inhicted on his slave. Then it was 
decided that a master was "not liable for an indictment 
for a battery committed upon his slave." The opinion 
was delivered by Judge Ruffin, who said, and his words 
sound like the sentence of fate for the unprotected slave : 
The end of slavery ; 'is the profit of the master, his security, 
and the public safety. The subject is one doomed in his 
own person and his posterity to live without knowledge, 
and without the capacity to make anything his own. and 
to toil that another may reap the fruits. What moral 
considerations shall be addressed to such a being to con- 
vince him, what it is impossible but that the most stupid 
must feel and know can never be true, that he is thus to 
labor upon a principle of natural duty or for the sake of 
his own personal happiness? Such services can only be 
expected from one who has no will of his own, who sur- 
renders his will in implicit obedience to that of another. 
Such obedience is the consequence only of uncontrolled 
authority over the body. There is nothing else that can 
operate to produce the effect. The power of the master 
must be absolute to render the submission of the slave per- 
fect. I must freely confess my sense of the harshness of 
this proposition. I feel it as deeply as any man can. And 

Historical Papers. 17 

as a principle of moral right every person in his retirement 
must repudiate it; but in the actual condition of tilings it 
must be true. There is no remedy. This discipline be- 
longs to the state of slavery. They cannot be disunited 
without abrogating at once the rights of the master and 
absolving the slave from his subjection. It constitutes the 
curse of slavery to both the bond and free portions of our 

The harshness of this opinion strikes us more forcibly 
even than it struck the illustrious judge who delivered it. 
Yet it is not difficult to see that it grew logically out of the 
theory of slavery. To overthrow it demanded a sagacious 
appeal to the humane spirit of the court. That was the line 
followed by Mr Moore. In opening his argument he laid 
down two propositions: "1. If Baxter's shot had killed 
the prisoner, Baxter would have been guilty of man 
slaughter at least : and 2. This position being established 
the killing of Baxter under the circumstances related was 
manslaughter in the prisoner." It was on the former of 
these propositions that he was confronted with Judge 
Ruffin's opinion in The State vs. Mann. Of these senti- 
ments he said : l -It is humbly submitted that they are not 
only abhorrent and startling to humanity, but at variance 
with statute and decided cases." ik Absolute power," he 
continued, 4i is irresponsible power, circumscribed by no 
limits save its own imbecility and selecting its own means 
with unfettered discretion." The language of the court 
would have applied to slavery in ancient Rome or in Tur- 
key, but it was in direct contradiction to the opinion 
of our own Judge Henderson, who had said that the 
master's power extended '-to the services and labor of the 
slave and no farther." and that the authority over his life 
was reserved to the law. Judge Ruffin had added to his 
opinion the statement that he was gratiiied to know that 
public opinion would protect the slave from abuse under 
the harsh ruling of the law. This is an excuse that the 

18 The Case of The State vs. Will. 

apologists of slavery to this day have not ceased to repeat. 
It was met by Mr. Moore most effectively: "Wherein lies 
the necessity to clothe the master with absolute authority 
over the slave? If this necessity exists public sentiment 
is not so strong as is claimed. If it does not exist 'the 
power is given for abuse and not to accomplish the object 
of slavery.' It would seem that the result of the ornnion 
of the court was ; to teach the kind master how merciful 
and moderate he is in the midst of such plentitude of 
power and the cruel one how despised and desecrated he 
will be if he uses its legal license.' " 

It is impossible to summarize here all of Mr. Moore's 
argument ; yet I cannot refrain from introduciug one elo- 
quent outburst. Judge Ruffin had said in the opinion 
already quoted that the slave must be made to realize that 
the master's power was "in no one instance usurped/' 
This, exclaimed the generous attorney, repressed thought 
and "reduced into perfect taraeness the instinct of self- 
preservation," a result difficult to accomplish and lament- 
able if accomplished. But if the relation of slavery 
required "that the slave shall be disrobed of the essential 
features that distinguish him from the brute, the relation 
must adapt itself to the consequences and leave its subjects 
the instinctive privileges of a brute. I am arguing no 
question of abstract right, but am endeavoring to prove 
that the natural incidents of slavery must be borne with 
because they are inherent to the condition itself : and that 
any attempt to punish the slave for the exercise of a right 
which even absolute power cannot destroy is inhuman and 
without the slightest benefit to the security of the master 
or to that of society at large. The doctrine may be ad- 
vanced from the bench, enacted by the legislature, and 
enforced with all the varied agony of torture and still the 
slave cannot believe and will not believe that there is no 
one instance in which the master's power is usurped. 
Nature, stronger than all, will discover many instances 

Historical Papers. 19 

and vindicate her rights at any and at every Thrice. When 
such a stimulant as this urges the forbidden deed, punish- 
ment will be powerless to proclaim or to warn by example. 
It can serve no purpose but to gratify the revengeful feelings 
of one class of people and to intiame the hidden animosities 
of the other." Was ever the cause of the slave pleaded 
more eloquently in the land of freedom than by this son of 
the yoeman class before the highest tribunal of the land of 

Attention was then turned to the question of provoca- 
tion. Could a slave be provoked in law? Had Will been 
a white freeman or an apprenticed freeman, the crime 
would have clearly been manslaughter. Mr. Moore de- 
manded for the slave all the consideration of a white man 
under like conditions, to whom he was simliar in feelings 
of resentment and in the instinct of self-preservation. The 
law had not required him to extinguish this instinct, and 
he accordingly had full right to plead a legal provocation. 
In conclusion the counsel referred to the necessity of defin- 
ing the position of a slave in regard to his life. "I feel and 
acknowledge," he said, i: as strongly as any man can the 
inexorable necessity of keeping our slaves in a state of de- 
pendence and subservience to their masters, but when 
shooting becomes necessary to prevent insolence and dis- 
obedience it only serves to show the want of proper domes- 
tic rules." 

The slave Will was as fortunate in his judge as in his 
counsel. On the bench was William Gaston, as noted for 
his humanity as for his ability in his profession. To him 
fell the duty of writing the opinion. The task was per- 
formed clearly and emphatically. It was all on the side of 
the prisoner, clearly giving him the right of defence against 
his master's attempt to take his life. It declared: "Un- 
conditional submission is, in general, the duty of the slave ; 
unquestioned power is. in general, the legal right of the 
master. Unquestionably there are exceptions to this rule. 

20 The Case of The State vs. Will. 

It is certain that the master has not the right to slay his 
slave, and I hold it to be equally certain that the slave has 
the right to defend himself against the unlawful attempt of 
his master to deprive him of life. There may be other ex- 
ceptions, but in a matter so full of difficulties, when reason 
and humanity plead with almost irresistible force on one 
side, and a necessary policy, rigorous, indeed, but insep- 
arable from slavery, urges on the other, I fear to err should 
I undertake to define them." The court hesitated to de- 
fine exactly a legal provocation in a case like this. It did 
say that if a slave were excited into unlawful violence by 
the inhumanity of his master, it ought not to be concluded 
that such passions sprang from malice. "The prisoner is 
a human being," said the court, "degraded by slavery, but 
yet having 'organs, senses, dimensions, passions,' like our 
own." On the evidence no malice could be found, and, it 
was concluded, none had existed. The killing was accord- 
ingly a felonious homicide and not murder. 

It was a notable victory and reflected as much credit on 
the State as on the brilliant and humane lawyer who had 
won it. It was quoted and commented upon extensively 
throughout the Union. It fixed forever afterwards the 
rights of a slave in cases like the one under consideration. 
In not another instance was a case of kindred nature 
brought before our courts. Most important of all it was a 
triumph of humanity and served to commit our law of 
slavery to a more lenient policy than existed in some other 
States. Joinr S. Bassett. 

Historical Papers. 21 


William J. Yates was born in Fayetteville, X. C, August 
8, 1827. His father was an invalid, and was what was 
known in those days as a "wheel -wright." His mother 
was a member of the M. E. Church for seventy-two years, 
and she neglected none of the training that her son ought 
to have. The grandparents of Mr. Yates were English and 
Welsh, having come direct from Great Britain to this 
country. From boyhood he was thrown upon his own 
resources, and gladly assisted in the support of his mother 
and the younger children. Early in life he showed, great 
devotion and tenderness to his mother, and this feeling 
was kept up through life, for after he left his old home he 
made his annual pilgrimage to Fayetteville to see her. He 
would make any sacrifice for her happiness, and a portion 
of his first earnings were spent in purchasing a house and 
lot for her. 

Mr. Yates' first permanent employment was in the 
printing office of the North Carolinian, a paper published 
in his own town, where he served as an apprentice for 
about seven years. At the end of this time he became a 
"journeyman printer" in the same office, receiving a few 
dollars per week for his labor. This enabled him to lay 
by a little money to be invested in something at a suitable 
time. The struggles of Mr. Yates' early life for an educa- 
tion are among the most conspicuous in the annals of the 
State. He was educating himself, and he had not the ad- 
vantages of a college or university training, yet he was very 
eager to appropriate every idea that would benefit him in 
after life. He seems to have known in early life what his 
mission was, and therefore he began it with great earnest- 
ness and anxiety. 

As a printer and journalist he was trained in the old 
school, which embraced such men as the able and celebrated 
E. J. Hale, editor of the Fayettemlle Observer, and R. K. 

22 William: J. Yates. 

Bryan, editor of the North Carolinian, both of whom were 
the soul of honor and of exceptional ability. These men 
were in active life while Mr. Yates was young and ambitious, 
and many were the valuable lessons he learned when he 
came in touch with them. Besides, they were in great 
sympathy with the young man, and encouraged him in his 
chosen held. His labor was not to go unrewarded, and at 
the age of twenty-seven he purchased the North Caro- 
linian, and published it for a time. This step seemed to 
broaden him, and from that date he became one of the best 
thinkers in the State. The question as to what to do in an 
emergency never troubled him for a moment. He could 
weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed 
measure instantly, and with marvellous precision. This 
caused him to become a leader of opinion, and he was con- 
sulted frequently, both in private and public matters. His 
sound judgment and his strong moral character made him 
a safe adviser. ik He was religious by nature and training, 
and his moral principle was granite. ? ' 

The personal characteristics of Mr. Yates are especially 
striking. He abhorred any semblance of external show or 
anything that savored of vanity or egotism. These qual- 
ities were odious to him, and when met in a man always 
produced a look of disgust in his face. Those who knew 
him intimately say that a poor person never appealed to 
him in vain. He would give the last penny he had to one 
who actually needed it. 

His foresight was phenomenal, especially in politics, 
where he seldom made a mistake as to men or measures. 
It is related of him that his judgment in matters of politics 
was so much sought after that the question, "What does 
Mr. Yates say?" was asked on every hand. People looked 
to him for the solution of questions which they could not 
decide at once for themselves. Breaking a promise was 
something that was utterly unknown to Mr. Yates. No 
matter how little the promise might involve, he would not 

Historical Papers. 23 

break it. He was also very kind to young men. He never 
tired in his attentions to young men in that line of busi- 
ness which was his life vocation. 

Mr. Yates was once asked the secret of his success, and 
he very readily replied, ''that it was owing to his indi- 
vidual efforts (blessed by a kind Providence), close atten- 
tion to business, complying strictly with every promise 
made, studying hard, working hard, the use of the proper 
economy, and never engaging in but one business at a time : 
that of publishing a newspaper." And that was unques- 
tionably the secret of his success. He never neglected any 
duty, never tried to do but one thing at a time, and never 
gave up a task till it was finished, though he was often 
forced to work till eleven or twelve o'clock at night. 

Mr. Yates' love for the "Old Xorth State" was akin to 
idolatry. He loved the masses, and may be called a man 
of the common people. With a wonderful rapidity he 
surveyed the various institutions of the State, saw their 
greatest needs, and proposed remedies for their deficien- 
cies. He loved everything that tended toward the develop- 
ment of our resources, and he was never better pleased 
than when some movement was inaugurated for the uplift- 
ing of his fellow-men. He always attended the State Fair, 
believing it his duty to advocate every measure that might 
promote the best interests of Xorth Carolina. Nothing 
that appealed to the philanthropist or the patriot failed to 
appeal to him. He had great State pride, and always felt 
that there was something great in the people of his own 
State. He reviewed the internal improvements of the 
State with a ke«-n interest. He was always their strong 
advocate and promoter, and never failed to take a firm 
stand on every issue that involved the welfare of the citi- 
zens of Xorth Carolina. Some one has said : "He was the 
best exemplar of home institutions and home rule we have 
ever known. For a man of his strong feelings and posi- 
tiveness, he was the most conservative writer and adviser 
we have ever seen." 

24 William J. Yates. 

The State of North Carolina owes Mr. Yates an inesti- 
mable debt for the fight he made for education. He was 
one of the pioneers in the cause of the common schools of 
the State. He realized that in education there is power, 
and he registered his vow to disseminate the cruth through- 
out the State. A higher type of citizenship was the burden 
of his heart, and he thought that this could best be secured 
by a system of good public schools. He was ahead of his 
contemporaries in his ideas of education, and we are just 
beginning to realize what he stood for in this field. 

Mr. Yates was an earnest and consistent Democrat, 
having voted the straight ticket at every election ; yet he 
never failed to criticise severely any wrongs in his own 
party. His strict loyalty did not make him blind to faults 
that needed correction, and his liberal views did not cause 
him to ignore a good measure in the Republican party. 
His partisanship never made him offensive. 

In the fall of 1856 he sold his paper in Fayetteville and 
moved to Charlotte, N. C, and took charge of the Demo- 
crat, which paper he conducted till his d^ath. Mr. Yates' 
strict business principles are best seen in his management 
of this paper. He published it for about thirty-two years, 
and during that time it never came out as a half-sheet on 
more than one or two occasions, and this would not have 
occurred, probably, had it not been for a destructive fire 
and the collapse of an adjoining building, which made it 
necessary for him to vacate his office. He had lofty ideas 
about journalism, believing that his greatest service to the 
State would be the publication of a clean newspaper. Not 
a single time did he debase it for any notoriety, his good 
judgment and modesty would not allow anything in its 
columns that would reflect upon the dignity of the distin- 
guished editor. Through its columns he reachea the people 
of the State as few editors have ever done. Back of every 
editorial was unchallenged sincerity and allegiance to every 
good cause, so his paper could not fail to have great weight 

Historical Papers. 25 

and influence where it circulated. His was one of the few 
permanent newspaper successes in North Carolina. 

Mr. Yates' influence in politics was felt throughout the 
State. This was. doubtless, due to his remarkable fore- 
sight and the readiness with which he solved problems 
that demanded immediate attention. His love for Y>olitics 
never made him an office-seeker, but on the other hand, 
the office frequently sought him. During the earlier days 
of his life, official honors were repeatedly offered to him, 
but in every case he declined, believing that he could serve 
the State better in journalism than in office. Non-partisan 
offices were the only offices he would consent to till. He 
stands out in bold relief as the typical citizen of North 
Carolina who cared nothing for the little offices that almost 
craze the minds of the politicians of to-day. Patriotism 
and love of state, not love of office and money, were the 
great principles that actuated him to service. He was 
broader than any political party, he was even broader than 
the State he served. His great popularity and influence 
led him to be chosen a member of the Council of State 
during a portion of Governor Ellis' administration in 1859 
and '60. He also held the directorships in two railroads 
while they were being built, the Carolina Central and the 
Charlotte Air Line. In addition to these positions of trust. 
he served on what was know a at the time as the ''Literary 
Board" of the State, which board had the power to dis- 
tribute the money set apart for the public schools before 
the war. Mr. Yates was also chosen a Trustee of the State 
University, which place he filled for a few years. 

To show further that he touched the interests of the 
State in other respects, it is necessary to mention his ap- 
pointments by the Executive of the State at different times. 
Reposing special trust and confidence in his integrity, the 
Governor, Thomas Bragg, in the j'ear 1856, appointed him 
a delegate to the Southern Commercial Convention which 
met at Savannah, Georgia, in December of that year. In 

26 William J. Yates. 

1880 Governor Jarvis appointed Mr. Yates on a committee 
from this state to meet similar committees from Virginia. 
Tennessee, and South Carolina, to make arrangements for 
the celebration of the Battle of King's Mountain, which 
was to take place in October. Seven years later Governor 
Scales appointed him as a delegate to the Southern Forestry 
Convention which met at Huntsville, Alabama. Other 
minor appointments were made, but the above are sufficient 
to show what his attitude was toward every interest of the 

The labors of this noble son of North Carolina for the 
insane have endeared him to every citizen. When the 
Insane Asylum at Morganton first threw open its doors, he 
was elected director, and he entered the service with all 
the earnestness of his soul, visiting the institution each 
month during his connection with its management. A 
very pleasant incident is told of him while he was director. 
His frequent visits made him so popular with the demented 
inmates that it became necessary for him to go through the 
asylum in disguise, in order to avoid the numerous kisses 
and embraces with which they saluted him. This did not 
secure immunity for him for any length of time, for they 
soon learned again who he was and the trick he was play- 
ing on them. No labor in which Mr. Yates ever engaged 
afforded him more pleasure than this labor for the unfor- 
tunates of the State. The directorship was an office which 
he really cherished. At his death the Board of Directors 
drew up resolutions of respect, an extract of which will 
show in what high esteem he was held: "To his wisdom, 
sagacity, and devotion is due, in large part, the efficiency 
with which the institution is to-day fulfilling its humane 

The best testimonials of the worth of this distinguished 
man to our State are to be found in the expressions of 
regret that followed the consolidation of the Democrat with 
the Southern Home, a paper published by Mr. J, P. Strong. 

Historical Papers. 27 

The paper resulting from the consolidation about October, 
1881. was known as the Charlotte Home and Democrat, 
but Mr. Yates continued his connection with the paper, 
keeping up that great reputation he had for writing sensi- 
ble and interesting articles. The Fayettetille Examiner, 
commenting on the consolidation of the papers, said of 
Mr. Yates : ''His strong sense, independent judgment, and 
honest expression of opinion have obtained for him a high 
position among the journalists of the State, and secured 
great influence for the journal which he has for twenty-odd 
years conducted." The Raleigh Biblical Recorder said of 
him: i( His paper has been a great favorite in this office. 
We liked his sensible and independent way of putting 
things." The Charlotte Observer paid Mr. Yates a high 
compliment in the following extract: lt The Charlotte 
Democrat, under his management for nearly thirty years, 
has taken hold of the confidence of the people to an almost 
unprecedented extent. Ccnscientiousness has been its 
distinguishing feature and Mr. Yates ? claim to that virtue 
in his valedictory is founded in obvious justice." For 
fear our testimonials become tedious, we shall desist from 
citing any mere in this connection. Suffice it to say, that 
the newspaper fraternity from one end of North Carolina 
to the other, spoke in terms of great praise for the veteran 
editor of the Democrat. He was regarded by them all as 
one of the best newspaper men in the State. Men of both 
political faiths were sorry for him to give up his own paper, 
but his good judgment told him it was the thing for him 
to do. 

After Mr. Yates moved to Charlotte he became identified 
with the people, and his name was loved in every house- 
hold. He was a leading spirit in every movement that 
meant the upbuilding of the town in which he lived. 
Business men, doctors, lawyers, and bankers respected his 
intellect, for he was able to grapple with the profoundest 
problems of society. Dr. Jno. H. McAden said of him : 

28 William J. Yates. 

"He conducted the best weekly paper in the South, and 
made a continuous success as an editor." Mr. II. C. Ec- 
cles, a citizen of Charlotte, paid him the following tribute : 
"He was a good and valuable citizen, and his place in this 
community will be hard to fill. He will be missed as few 
men are." 

Mr. Yates' phenomenal success as an editor should be 
an encouragement to the newspaper men of North Caro- 
lina. In his life is an example of consistency, honesty, 
and morality unsurpassed by few men that the State has 
produced. His one great aim was service, and in the ser- 
vice of his fellow-men he died. His death occurred Octo- 
ber 25, 1888, after having spent that day in his office writing 
for his paper. The subscribers to his paper read the articles 
written by him the day before his death, while the brain 
that inspired them was deadened to all earthly things. His 
death was, indeed, lamentable, and in his demise the State 
lost a venerable citizen, a celebrated journalist, and his 
wife a devoted husband. No more loyal man could be 
found. He was faithful to every duty that devolved upon 
him. His sincerity and allegiance were proverbial. ;i He 
was an ideal elder brother. ' ' His hopes were concentrated 
in his brother, E. A. Yates, and him he encouraged and 
helped to educate, thus preparing him for that great sphere 
of usefulness which he fills to-day as a member of the North 
Carolina Conference. The inspiration from such a life as 
that of William J. Yates should be sufficient to show the 
editors of North Carolina that there is a great work for 
them. He has placed before them ideals lofty and pure. 
May they all be as faithful to their fellow-men as he was. 
If they will follow the lines marked out by him. there 
need never be any fear for North Carolina's journalism. 

Zeb. F. Cuktis. 

Note.— The material for this paper is taken from old papers and clip- 
pings belonging to the various members of Mr. Yates' family. Z. F. C. 

Histoiucal Papees. 29 


Leaving out the early chronicle of Lawson, we have had 
four formal histories of North Carolina, Lawson' s being a 
diary of his journeyings on his professional business of a 
surveyor, and the history written by Joseph Sea well Jones, 

!of Warren county. Xorth Carolina, being called ' -Jones' 
Defence of Xorth Carolina. ' ' * 'Schocco' ' was a pseudonym, 
adopted probably because he was born near Shocco Springs, 
in Warren county. X. C, a place of fashionable resort then, 
and for some years after. Jones was a young man, full of 
enthusiasm, with an intellect of brilliant rather than sub- 
stantial type, with eccentricity on the border line of insan- 
ity, sometimes considered the genuine article, and with a 
love of the sensational, which was the ruling passion of his 
soul. With the addition of that passion by which Wolsey 
and the "angels fell," you have a pen picture of a Xorth 
Carolinian of the olden times, who rilled a large space in 
the public eye of the State and whose sad history was a 
romance and a failure. 

1 'Jones' Defence of Xorth Carolina" was a development 
of the period. Dr. Williamson's History of Xorth Car- 
olina had been a failure as a history and not a success as a 
medical disquisition upon the fevers of Eastern Xorth 

Xavier Martin's History succeeded Williamson's, and 
but for his removal from the State in the first years of the 
nineteenth century and the subsequent loss of his histori- 
cal materials, his history would have supplied a great want. 

Then came a long interval of quiescence about the State 
History, and its first revival was by the publication of some 
accounts referring to the Mecklenburg Declaration. It 
attracted considerable attention in the State, and the sub- 
ject was given a new interest by the publication of a 
correspondence between ex-Presidents John Adams and 
Thomas Jefferson, in which correspondence Mr. JerTerson 

30 What I Know About "Schocco" Jones. 

had charged that the Mecklenburg Declaration was a fraud, 
and in connection with it had made some unjust imputa- 
tions upon the patriotism and loyalty of the North Caro- 
lina representatives in the Congress of the Revolution. It 
excited a furor in the State. It touched oar patriotism at 
the nerve centre. In this tide of popular sentiment in 
North Carolina, "Schocco" Jones was thrown upon the top 
of the wave of public indignation. He was fashionably 
connected, an habitue of the elite society of Shocco Springs, 
a native of the historic county of Warren, young, ardent 
and aggressive, and with an individuality of the most 
eccentric character. Voluble to a degree, his progress was 
not handicapped by modesty. The man and the occa- 
sion met. Jones had literary instinct, ambition, cul- 
ture to some extent, and surely Mr. Jefferson was an 
antagonist worthy of his steel. He had the social feeling 
inordinately, travelled much, knew everybody, and wished 
to know everybody else, and his purpose to launch a shaft 
at the memory of the sage of Monticello became widely 
known. He became a pet of the distinguished men in 
North Carolina, and men whose lineage ran back to the 
foundation of the State were fired by his patriotic enthu- 
siasm, and made him the custodian of their valuable family 
records, which he had no talent for preserving. It was 
proclaimed that he w T ould prove that Mr. Jefferson was a 
plagiarist and that he had the Resolutions of Mecklenburg 
county on his table when he wrote the National Declaration 
of Independence. 

"Jones' Defence'' appeared and it added fresh fuel to 
the flame of patriotism. It did not give entire satisfaction 
to the mature judgment of the State. Some said it was 
inaccurate in statement, and others that it was too "efflo- 
rescent in diction," but it fired the youthful mind and was 
the basis of many a college essay and declamation. 

Historical Papers. 31 

personal recollections. 

About the time the "Defence" made its appearance, or 
while in the throes of expectancy, we were a Freshman or 
Sophomore at the University, and the news spread through 
the college that kk Schocco" Jones was in the village and had 
come through the campus riding upon the shoulders of a 
stalwart negro. We were the librarian of the Philan- 
thropic Society and on duty when the news reached us. 
Soon after, there came into the Library Hall a man, 
swarthy, tall, long-haired, wild-eyed, who introduced him- 
self as Jo. Seawell Jones, of Shocco. He was attended by 
several students. The conversation was led by Mr. Jones, 
and it soon fell into the subject of his "Defence of Xorth 
Carolina. ' ' His whole soul seemed absorbed in the subject. 
He was unsparing in his denunciations of Mr. Jeft'erson. 
He stated that he was then engaged in preparing a "Pictur- 
esque History of Xorth Carolina'' to follow the "Defence 
of Xorth Carolina." We suppose now, that he meant an 
"Illustrated History of Xorth Carolina," as he casually 
referred to some of the historic scenes on Roanoke Island. 

We neither saw nor heard any more of "Schocco" Jones, 
except occasional mention of his being in Washington, and 
his prominence in society circles, until about 1836. Mean- 
while his "Defence of Xorth Carolina" had been generally 
read and it had various comments. It became a pyre at 
which the torch of patriotism was fired. 

About 1S36 it was reported in Xorth Carolina that 
"Schocco 7 ' Jones had been involved in an angry personal 
dispute in Rhode Island, with a citizen of that State, about 
the Revolutionary history of Xorth Carolina, which had 
resulted in a challenge from Jones to the field of honor. 
The challenge was said to have been accepted and the fight 
was to come oil" at an early date. In a short time came a 
Proclamation from the Governor of Rhode Island, forbid- 
ding the violation of the peace within the bounds of Rhode 
Island. A counter proclamation was promptly issued by 

32 What I Know About "Schocco" Jones, 

Jones, in which he intimated that the fight could be had 
across the little State of Rhode Island, without violating 
its laws. Meanwhile the public mind of North Carolina 
was on the qui-vive of expectancy. 

While the public interest was at its height, a Scotch 
schoolmaster of the town of Edenton, named McLochlin, 
raw, credulous, sympathizing, came from Norfolk, Va., by 
the canal-stage route to his home in Edenton. The stage 
stopped at the "Half Way House' ' for dinner. While 
McLochlin was at dinner, there came from an inside door 
a man, wild-looking, haggard, nervous, abstracted, and 
took a seat beside him. He confided to McLochlin's cred- 
ulous ear, the story of the fatal duel he had just fought on 
the Virginia line, where he had killed his adversarv, and all 
for North Carolina. He said he was pursued by the officers 
of the law, showed him a handkerchief saturated with blood 
with which he had stanched the blood of his dying adver- 
sary, begged his help in this time of his greatest need, 
asked McLochlin if there was any one in Edenton who 
would shelter a man who had shed the blood of his enemy 
for North Carolina. Jones took his new friend to a private 
room, where he opened the tale of the tragedy. After 
long deliberation the name of Hugh Collins was suggested 
as the friend of the distressed. Oh, yes ! Jones knew him 
well. Had met him in Washington in society circles. 
The very man ! 

It was arranged that McLochlin should go on to Eden- 
ton, go at once to Hugh Collins, who was then fishing a 
large seine at the old Sandy Point Fishery, and get him to 
meet Jones at the arrival of the stage in Edenton next day. 
McLochlin hied him home. Jones remained in hiding. 

Jones came to Edenton next day. Collins was in wait- 
ing. Damon and Pythias were not more cordial than 
"Hugh'' and ^Shoc." A carriage was in waiting. Both 
were hurried in and off. and with rapid speed they were 
taken to the safe retreat of Sandv Point Beach. When 

Historical Papers. 33 

they arrived Jones, for greater safety, asked Collins to x>ut 
out pickets to provide against surprise and to keep his 
private yacht manned with four stalwart oarsmen, ready 
at a moment's notice to take Jones to the southern shore 
of Albemarle Sound. "Hugh," full of the responsibility 
of his great charge, had everything ready as requested. 
The oarsmen never left their rowlocks. After a few days 
Jones came out from hiding, and for ten days no man in 
North Carolina has been more lionized, petted and feasted 
Jack Leary, a veteran wealthy seine fisherman, banqueted 
him with great and bounteous honor. Thomas Benbury, 
the oldest fisherman on the sound, claimed him as his 
honored guest. Others followed. If Jones had asked for 
8100,000 we believe he could have had an honored check 
for it in half an hour. 

After some time spent in this round of festivity and 
honor, Jones went to Mississippi, where he hobnobbed with 
Seargent S. Prentis, whom "he had introduced into good 
society at Washington." Finally, in the wilds of Texas, 
in the days of the old Texan wars with Mexico, he died, a 
hermit, alone, deserted, unknown — with all his eccen- 
tricities a patriot, a lover of his old home, having done 
some good in his day and generation, and left a name 
among its historians. It. B. Creecy. 

34 Dennis Heartt. 


If history consists of the lives of great men, whose names 
are "wrought into the verbs of language, their works and 
effigies in our houses,-' North Carolina should contribute 
many pages to the epitome of civilization ; for her institu- 
tions, public and private, have been established by men of 
superior abilities, who have spared neither time nor re- 
sources in the founding of a great State. In journalism, as 
in economic and political growth, the pioneer work has been 
done by men of strong personal character, who possessed the 
art of citizenship as well as the talents requisite for their 
chosen work. These editors, though the remains of their 
labor often seem eccentric when compared with our modern 
journals, had great influence among the people, and their 
memories are forever perpetuated in the ideals of the State 
they served so well. 

Among these pioneers of our press none were purer in 
public and private life, more energetic, or held greater 
favor throughout the State than Dennis Heartt, the foun 
der, and for nearly fifty years the editor, of the HillsborougTi 
Recorder. Like many of our best citizens, Mr. Heartt was 
not a native Carolinian. His father was an English sea 
captain, who settled in New England. Here, in the village 
of North Bradford, Connecticut, November 6, 17S3, Dennis 
Heartt was born. Very little is known of the young man's 
early life. In 1798 we find him in New Haven, apprenticed 
to Read and Morse, printers, the latter a brother to the in- 
ventor of the electric telegraph. The young compositor soon 
became very proficient in his work, and was able to set up 
5,000 ems in one morning's time. It was while in New Haven 
that the following incident is told of Mr. Heartt. When 
setting up an article written by Noah Webster, the com- 
positor changed the word fashon in the copy to fashion. 
In the proof-reading, the * 'Schoolmaster of the Republic'' 
struck out the i. The printer then conformed to the copy, 

Historical Papers. 35 

but in the final proof the Lexicographer corrected his mis- 
take, inserting the ubiquitous i. Later in life, when 
success had crowned his labors, Mr. Heartt frequently 
related this as an illustration of the trials and vexations 
peculir to newspaper men. 

In 1S02, having served his apprenticeship, Mr. Heartt 
left New Haven, removed to Philadelphia, and began life 
for himself. Here he married Elizabeth Shinn, of Spring- 
field, Burlington county, New Jersey, whom tradition 
represents as ;i a very pretty little Quakeress/' In 1807 
he was one of the invited guests of Robert Fulton on the 
trial trip of the "Clermont." In 1810 he commenced the 
publication of the Philadelphia Repertory, a literary 
paper. Ten years later he migrated to Hillsborough. North 
Carolina, and on February 20, 1820, issued the first copy 
of the Hillsborough Recorder. 

At this time the population of Hillsborough was 805, "of 
whom there were twenty -nine more males than females. 
Orange was a large and prosperous county, though its cir- 
culating medium was bank notes, there being little silver 
and no gold, and its bar had Judges Ruffin, Cameron, and 
Norwood among its numbers. Judges Badger, Murphy, 
Mangum, and Nash were then on the bench, or had 
recently resigned." These men were types of North Car- 
olina's best life, and Mr. Heartt, by indomitable energy 
and constant application, won a reputation in the State 
second to none. 

Many obstacles to a successful career presented them- 
selves to the young editor. A new settler, coming from a 
distant section, he would naturally find some difficulty in 
gaining the confidence of the people and adjusting himself 
to his new social environments. The stage-coach, the only 
means of communication with the outside world, must have 
discouraged an editor accustomed to city life and a fast 
post-line to the nearest centres of trade. To these must be 
added the excessive labor and vexation caused bv the 

36 Denjos Heartt. 

presses. "In those days the old, double full Ramage 
press was used with buckskin balls for inking the forms. 
Printing was executed under many difficulties. Types 
were costly and were used from ten to fourteen years. 
The forms were sometimes underlain with damp paper to 
bring out the impression. Mr. Heartt engraved the head 
of his paper, and with leaden cuts of various kinds illus- 
trated his articles and advertisements. He made his own 
composing sticks of walnut wood, lined with brass. They 
were good sticks and I remember to this day che sound 
made by the types as they were dropped by the left thumb 
into their places." (Governor Holden, 1886.) 

These are only a few of the discouragements encountered 
by Mr. Heartt. If "genius is the art of overcoming great 
difficulties," his name must be classed with those of Caro- 
lina's most gifted sons. His early training as an appren- 
tice, his previous experience in journalism, and the energy 
with which he began his work soon enabled him to conquer 
his equivocal environments. He gained the confidence of 
the people, his subscription list quickly rose to five hun- 
dred, and for many years the Hillsborough Recorder was 
the best known paper in Central Carolina. For years, 
some of the oldest citizens have declared, the only litera- 
ture found in their homes was the Bible and the Recorder, 
and they "would swear by either." The paper was popu- 
larly styled the "New Testament," for it was "true as 
Gospel." Such being the character of this representative 
of North Carolina's ante bell urn life, let us examine some 
files, and behold in a few coarsely printed pages, worn and 
"seared like the yellow leaf," a true index to the social 
conditions of an age forever gone but never forgotten. 

The earliest issue before me is dated March 1. 18*20, 
Vol. 1, Xo. 4. --Published weekly by Dennis Heartt, at 
three dollars a year, payable half-yearly in advance." 
"Advertisements not exceeding fourteen lines will be in- 
serted three times for one dollar, and twenty-live cents for 

Historical Papers. 37 

each continuance." * 'Gentlemen of leisure, who possess 
a taste for literary pursuits, are invited to favor us with 
communications. *' With the exception of a few advertise- 
ments, the first of the four pages is filled with articles 
clipped from exchanges; such as. * 4 A Sketch of Illinois, " 
from the National Intelligencer, a paper founded by a 
North Carolinian, an essay on "Domestic Economy," from 
the New York National Advocate, and a discussion on 
curing bacon taken from the American Fanner. Here is 
one of the secrets of Mr. Heartt's success in journalism. 
Instead of tilling his columns with the worthless contribu- 
tions of local literary aspirants, he gave his readers selec- 
tions from the best current journals, which were usually of 
practical value to his subscribers. This issue also contains 
reports from Congress and condensed news from Spain, Paris 
and Berlin, which vary from three week to three months 
in age. Illustrations of the inefficient means of communi- 
cation with other sections of the State are seen in the local 
notices, frequently no fixed date being given to events in 
neighboring counties. One of these reads as follows: 
"Married, a few days ago. in Franklin county, Mr. Robert 
Harrison, of Raleigh, to Miss Tucker." The advertise- 
ments are about fifteen in number, and are quaint in style 
and subject matter. They usually begin thus, "The 
subscriber, grateful for past favors, has the pleasure 
of announcing to the ladies and gentlemen of Hills- 
borough," etc. In one of these, five cents reward is 
offered for the capture of an escaped apprentice-boy, 
dressed in "a blue home-made coat, tow trowsers, and a 
wool hat. The above reward will be given for apprehend- 
ing said boy and delivering him to the undersigned, with- 
out charges." On the last page we find two essays, "On 
Friendship" and ; 'Domestic Happiness," written in imita- 
tion of that old, eighteenth century style, the literary ideal 
of the South seventy years ago. 

In 1828 we find the paper enlarged, more modern in 

38 Dennis Heartt. 

appearance and contents, thus evindng the rapid develop- 
ment of the country. In the issues for this year, we get 
the first intimation of the editor's political opinions, for a 
motto, the battle cry of half the nation thirty years later, 
has found its way to the heading of the Recorder, '-United 
we stand, divided we fall." 

The next number is September 19. 1839. The paper has 
been further enlarged, now being about twice its original 
size. This is the first issue that takes an advanced stand 
on political questions, and here, also, an index to Mr. 
Heartt's views is found in the heading of the paper, "The 
Union, the Constitution, and the Laws — the Guardians of 
onr Liberty." There is an account of the proceedings of 
an "Orange Republican Whig Meeting," held in the 
Masonic Hall of Hillsborough, Thursday, September 12. At 
this meeting a "preamble and resolutions were submitted 
by Hugh Waddeil, Esq.," which fully stated the platform 
of Martin Van Buren and the failure of his administration : 
in conclusion they resolved, "That we cling with increas- 
ing devotion to the cause of constitutional liberty ; that 
we feel it is a cause which can never be despaired of by 
freemen ; and that we will use all patriotic means to assert 
and maintain the principles by which we are governed." 
Delegates were appointed to the State Whig Convention 
to be held in Raleigh, "the second of November next." 
who were instructed to support John M. Morehead for 
Governor and Henry Clay for President. The report is 
signed by John M. Smith, chairman, Dennis Heartt and 
Nathaniel I. King, secretaries. In an editorial Mr. Heartt 
speaks of the recent enlargement of his paper and his hope 
for its improvement. "But to realize this hope, the active 
assistance of his (the editor's) friends is required. He has 
perfect confidence in the justice of the cause and soundness 
of the principles which he advocates; and having truth for 
his polar star, he has neither wavered nor faltered, even in 
the darkest hour. He believes that the entire Whig party 

Historical Papers. 39 

are actuated by the same purity of motive, and in their 
determination to preserve undiminished their high privi- 
leges, are animated by a zeal not less fervent than his own. 
The rich legacy which was won by the active hands and 
strong arms of the Whigs of the revolution, th^ Whigs of 
the present day know can be preserved only by untiring 
watchfulness and jealous guardianship. 5 ' This avowal of 
his allegiance to the Whig party expresses the spirit of 
Mr. Heartt's political faith. He was ever firm, but never 
extreme ; always an optimist, too generous to make a 
charge against his colleagues or opponents of which he 
himself w T as innocent. 

Within the next decade the political battles waged fiercer 
each year. The clouds of discontent which were to end in 
turmoil and disunion were constantly gathering and grow- 
ing dark with the omens of war. Throughout this period 
of suspense. Mr. Heartt never faltered in his allegiance to 
the Union, but stood firmly by the principles of the Whig 
party. In 1844 the Recorder supported Henry Clay and 
advocated the following principles : IV A Bank of the United 
States, and a sound National Currency. A Tariff for rev- 
enue with fair protection to American Industry. An 
honest and economical administration of the National 
Government. An equitable distribution of the proceeds 
of the sales of Public Lands. " In 1848 Mr. Heartt sup- 
ported Taylor and Fillmore. The issue for May 21, 1851, 
gives an address and resolutions before the -'Southern 
Rights Association of South Carolina,'' which declare in 
no uncertain language for States' rights and secession. 
Mr. Heartt has an able editorial on this meeting, and also 
defends himself from the attacks of the North Carolina 
Democrat, a secession paper published in Hillsborough. 
A comparison of the title-pages of these two papers tells 
better than facts the position of Mr. Heartt during that 
long political struggle which precipitated the Civil War. 
The Democrat cries for "States' Rights; and a strict con- 

40 Dennis Heartt. 

struction of the Constitution." The Recorder holds to its 
old principle. "The Union, the Constitution and the Laws 
— The Guardians of our Liberty." 

The last of these papers is dated August 27, 1867. ''The 
cruel war is over," and thf* darkest days of -reconstruc- 
tion" are at hand. The Recorder has not remained unim- 
paired by the desolation of the struggle, for its size is 
greatly diminished. Yet the editor maintains his fealty 
to the Union unshaken, declaring, ''We shall pursue the 
same lights hereafter that have guided us hitherto — ever 
holding to our motto, 'The Union, the Constitution, and 
the Laws, ' as the Palladium of our safety ; and we are 
not without hope that wise counsels will ere long lead the 
country back to its former prosperity." 

No one can read these papers without being impressed 
with the purity of their subject matter, the soundness of 
their principles, and the liberal spirit of the editor. 
"Talent alone cannot 'make a writer. There must be a 
man behind the book : a personality which, by birth and 
quality, is pledged to the doctrines there set forth, and 
which exists to see and state things so, and not otherwise ; 
holding things because they are things." If this be true, 
Dennis Heartt was a representative man in journalism 
as in private life. He was never harsh or vindictive, and 
never allowed personal animosities to be expressed in his 
columns. In politics he was a staunch Whig. Though he 
owned no slaves and was opposed to that '-dire institu- 
tion," he did not go to the extremes of the abolitionists. 
In his own words, he always endeavored '*so to constrain 
himself as 

'Nothing to extenuate, 
Nor set down aught in malice,' 

but in truth and soberness to do justice to all parties." 
"He never selected an article, or wrote a line for his paper 
which, dying, he could wish to blot/' 

As a man, Mr. Heartt was ever temperate, honest, above 

Historical Papers. 41 

suspicion, and habitually truthful. He was for many years 
a member and officer of the Presbyterian church. • 'He loved 
labor and was an indefatigable worker. We have known 
Mr.Heartt from our earliest youth and we have never known 
a purer or a better man. His was a heart that harbored 
no deception, his was a tongue that knew no guile, and 
his was an integrity that would not bend or deviate." 
(Editorial in a Raleigh Daily, November 14, 1870.) He 
was a man of strong personality, eccentric, but humorous 
and charitable. Of many who were influenced by his 
character, none have risen to higher distinction or paid a 
greater tribute to his memory than the late Governor 
Holden. A ragged, homeless waif, drifting aimlessly, 
with no protection from the ills of life, William Holden 
was taken into the home of Mr. Heartt and became his 
apprentice. At one time the boy's roving nature gained 
the ascendency and he ran away from his benefactor. Mr. 
Heartt advertised for him. offering five cents reward for his 
capture. The run-away saw this notice, secretly returned 
by night, entered the office of the Recorder, and set up 
some type which he placed in the form for the next issue. 
This work completed, the youthful compositor wrote on 
his desk, "From this day I will be a man." The next 
number of the paper contained a startling notice which 
advertised the Recorder and its editor for sale, fifty cents 
being the price set for both. A reconciliation then took 
place between master and servant. Holden served his 
apprenticeship, went to Raleigh and founded the Forth 
Carolina Standard, and was finally elected Governor. In 
1886, before the State Press Association he gave the follow- 
ing testimony to his benefactor's character, "His integrity 
in all respects was perfect. Xo consideration could have 
induced him to abandon or compromise his principles, or to 
do wronsr knowingly. I was a member of his family as one 
of his apprentices, six or seven years, and I knew him 
thoroughly. There were features in his character and con- 

42 Dennis Heartt. 

duct which I could uot, then, understand, but in reviewing 
the past I have since seen him in his true light and I de- 
clare in this presence that the best man in all respects 
whom I have ever known was my old master and teacher. 
Dennis Heartt. * * * What a kind, good man he was ! 
and he was thoughtful, careful, scrupulous and very in- 
dustrious. " 

As a printer and editor, Mr. Heartt was devoted to his 
work. Journalism was his life-work, and he would not 
prostitute his profession to personal desire or ambition. 
Political offices and public honors, he could easily have ob- 
tained, but he was unwilling to desert the cause which he 
had early espoused and which had so abundantly repaid 
him for his labor. He was faithful and energetic. ' : He gen- 
erally wrote his editorials two and even three times over, 
before giving them to the press. ? ' (Hillsborough Recorder, 
obituary notice.) "We have seen him. since he passed 
four score, write his editorials, set them in type, make up 
his form and even work off his paper at the press and then 
make up his mails. (He was then postmaster.) He was 
an ornament to his profession, giving dignity and character 
to it." (Editorial in Raleigh Daily above quoted.) He 
was modest and reticent. He was "a good scholar and 
wrote well, but he seldom presented his readers with a 
column of editorial in any issue. He was a man of retined 
taste and his selections were therefore excellent." (Gov- 
ernor Holden.) 

In January, 1869, Mr. Heartt sold his paper to C. B. and 
T. C. Evans, of Milton, Caswell county, X. C, who had 
formerly edited the Milton Chronicle. May 13, 1870, he 
died. iC His death cast a gloom over the whole town. 
Every store, even the saloons and shops, were closed the 
day of his funeral that all might attend it." He was 
greatly beloved by all the citizens of Hillsborough, and his 
name will long be cherished among the people of Orange 
county. As journalist he leaves us an example which the 

Historical Papers. 43 

modern press would do well to emulate. Always con- 
scientious and sincere, he never printed a line which he 
did not believe to be true. His personality was seen 
through the columns of his paper. There never was a time 
when, in spirit, the Recorder was not Dennis Heartt, or 
the editor the living soul of the paper. 

The Recorder passed from the hands of the Evans men 
to Col. John D. Cameron, who removed the paper to Dur- 
ham, the name being changed to the Durham Recorder. 
In 18S1 the paper was bought by Mr. E. C. Hackney, who 
still edits it. It is now the oldest newspaper in the State. 

W. K. Boyd. 

N. B. — Materials for the above article were taken from copies of the 
Recorder and papers of Mr. Heartt's family. W. K. B. 

44 Landholdixg IN Colonial N. C. 


In 1663 His Majesty Charles II, out of the abundance 
of his American lauds, granted the province of Carolina 
to eight of the chief nobles of his court. These gentlemen 
retained the property until 1629, when they sold it to the 
King. Here it remained until the War of the Revolution. 
Although these two supremacies, the one of the Lords Pro- 
prietors and the other of the King, represent the two dis- 
tinct periods in the history of the colony, they indicate 
but little interruption in the history of its private law. 
This is especially true of the law relating to land. The 
basis for the future government was the charter by which 
the Lords Proprietors received their property. When the 
purchase by the King was made, there was no beginning 
the government de novo. The Crown simply stepped into 
the place vacated by the former owners. Proprietary laws 
were for the most part confirmed or but slightly altered. 
We thus see the importance of the charter of 1663, and 
can understand why the people in their periodic revisions 
of the laws saw tit to insert this instrument as a preface to 
their codes. It is therefore from this charter 2 that we be- 
gin to trace the history of landlording in Xorth Carolina. 

Three facts relating to land stand prominently out in the 
royal charter. 1. Carolina was constituted a feudal seign- 
iority, the Proprietors being authorized 'to have, hold, 
use, exercise, and enjoy the same [their privileges], as 
amply, fully, and in as ample manner, as any Bishop of 
Durham, in our kingdom of England, ever heretofore had, 
held, used, or enjoyed, or of right ought or could have 

i Reprinted by permission from the Law Quarterly Review (London) 
April, 1895. 

2 The first charter was issued in 1663. In order to include a strip of ter- 
ritory to the north of the proivince, a second charter was issued in 1665. 
Except as to boundaries it differs in no material sense from the charter of 
1663, but being the later it may be considered the more authentic. I 
have therefore used it. . 

Historical Papers. 46 

use or injury.' 2. The Lords were to hold their lands 'in 
fee and common socage and not in capt'le, or by knight's 
service.' B. They were to hold 'as of our manor of East 
Greenwich in Kent,' and to pay an annual rent of twenty 
marks, together with one-fourth of all gold and silver ore 
found within that region. This rent was a mere formality 
intended for a recognition of the King's ultimate domin- 
ion over the granted lands ; still it is well to remember that 
it was eventually paid. At the time of the sale the Pro- 
prietors owed rent for seven and a half years, and that 
amount was deducted from the purchase price. 1 

The charter" prescribes the relation between the Proprie- 
tors and their future tenants. The Lords, so we read, may 
at pleasure 'assign, alien, grant, demise, or enfeoff, the 
premises or any part, or parcel thereof, to him or them 
that shall be willing to purchase the same, and to such 
person or persons as they [the guarantees] shall think fit, 
to have and to hold to them, the said person or persons, 
their heirs or assigns, in fee simple or in fee tail, or for 
terms of life, lives, or years ; to be held of them [the Lords 
Proprietors] and not of us, our heirs and successors.' 
This grant involved a return to subinfeudation, and accord- 
ingly the King relaxed for the benefit of the Proprietors 
the statute Quia Emptores. To them also was accorded 
the right to erect seigniories and manors with the accom- 
panying privileges of courts leet and barons. By way of 
being sufficiently explicit, the people who should settle in 
the colony were granted the right to hold their land on the 
above conditions, and were guaranteed the recognized per- 
sonal and property rights of Englishmen. 

The above-mentioned provisions represent one element in 
the development of the colonial land laws. That was the 
superimposed factor. It came from without. As it em- 
bodied the distinctive ideas of the promoters of the enter- 

i Cf. Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. ii. p. 723. 

a The charter may be found in Col. Records of N. C. vol. i. p. 102. 

46 Landholding in Colonial N. C. 

prise it may be called the Proprietors', or the King's, 
contribution to the process of growth which was about to 
begin. There was another factor, one due to the conditions 
of life in the colony. As this was interpreted and de- 
manded by the people it may be termed the popular con- 
tribution to the same process. These two factors were 
brought to bear on the English Common Law which the 
colonists may be considered to have carried with them 
across the Atlantic. The charter had granted to the 
Assembly the right to make laws * consonant to reason and 
as near as may be to the laws of England.' As more dis- 
tinctively American conditions arose it was a question as 
to where the Common Law stopped and where the colonial 
law began. Confusion arose, and in 1711 the Xorth Car- 
olina Assembly was impelled to declare, not only that the 
Common Law was binding in the colony, but that all 
English statutes, especially those continuing inheritances 
and titles of land, should be enforced 1 . This was not suffi- 
cient. In 1749 the Assembly by law declared which of the 
statutes of England should be recognized in the Colonial 
Courts 2 . So decidedly did the law swing away from its 
original mooring that in 1775 it was well out in the stream 
of a new development. It shall be our task to take up and 
explain the new features of the law relating to land as they 
came into existence in the colony. 

Quit Rents. The most notable kind of landed estates in 
North Carolina, as in all the southern colonies, was the 
fee-simple estate held subject to quit rents 3 . It was due to 

i Col. Recs. of N. C. vol. i p. 789. 2 See the Revision of 1752, pp. 293 304. 

3 Mr. Justin Winsor falls into the error of saying: 'The efforts to colonize 
the seaboard region of North Carolina without giving the fee of the land to 
the people and without care in the selection of colonists, resulted in a fail- 
ure even more complete than that of the Canadian colonists.' | Narrative 
and Crit. Hist vol. iv, p. xxii.) If it were not true that lands held subject 
to quit rents are held in fee simple (cf. Williams, on Real Property, p. 184), 
it would still be necessary, in order to show the fallacy of this statement. 
only to remind the reader that lands were held in North Carolina in exactlv 

Historical Papers. 47 

two facts : (1) the inability of the settlers to pay for their 
lands at once, and (2) the desire of the Proprietors to re- 
tain the r^nt as an acknowledgement of tenure between 
themselves and their tenants. The latter is shown by the 
later practice in the Proprietary Period of selling land out- 
right while a very small quit rent was retained <as an 
acknowledgment' 1 . 

The use of quit rents was retained throughout the Pro- 
prietary and Royal Periods, but it is doubtful if they were 
ever collected even fairly well. Yet in the Proprietary 
Period the amounts received from this source were consid- 
erable 2 . At two different times Thomas Lowndes alleged 
that the quit rents were sufficient to defray the ordinary 
expenses of the government 3 . G-overnor JBurrington, how- 
ever, does not corroborate this statement*. The long con- 
test over the manner of paying quit rents, which was waged 
by the Assembly against Governors Burrington and John- 
ston, reduced the revenues from this sou tee to a small sum. 
It was also difficult to collect them. The chief trouble was 
to get a correct rent roll. The basis or this roll ought to 
have been the records of the original grants and of the 
transfer of land between individuals. Th^se records, how- 
ever, were so carelessly kept that they eould not be used 
for the purpose indicated. Several attempts were made to 
secure a general registration, but we have no evidence that 
any one of them was successful 5 . 

the same manner as in Virginia and in South Carolina, and that these two 
colonies were eminently prosperous. It is more probable that poor har- 
bours and a consequent lack of direct trade with Europe had far more to do 
with the slow growth of North Carolina than the prevalence of quit rents 

i See Col. Recs. of N. C, i, pp. 383, 39?, and ii, p. 58. 

2 Ibid, ii, p 169. 3 Ibid, iii, pp. 11, 49. 4 Ibid, iii, p. 149. 

5 See Ibid, ii, 34-5, and iii, 144. Also Revision of 1752, pp. 275-77, and 
Ibid. p. 280. [N. B— We refer to the Colonial Codes as 'Revisions/ They 
occurred in 1751-2. 1765. and 1773. The laws of 1715 were a revision, but 
as they were never printed as such they appear in later Codes as original 
laws. ] 

48 Landholding in Colonial N. C 

Another source of trouble was the medium in which quit 
rents were paid. In early times the Assembly arranged a 
table of valuation by which certain products, called on this 
account -rated commodities,' were to pass as currency. In 
these, quit rents were paid 1 . About 1715 the Assembly 
made these rents payable in colonial paper currency, then 
much depreciated 2 . To this scheme the Proprietors ob- 
jected so emphatically that we find no further mention of 
it until the royal regime. Burrington, the first royal 
Governor, acting under instructions, brought in a Bill 
requiring payment in proclamation money. The Assembly 
demanded that the provincial money should be received 
also. Each party remained obstinate and the Governor 
prorogued the Assembly 3 ; but that body continuing its 
demand was alternately prorogued and adjourned until 
when Burrington was removed from office in 1734 it had 
passed no Bill on this subject. 

The dispute was passed on to Johnston, the next Gov- 
ernor, who at first succeeded no better than his predecessor. 
After fourteen years of contention this Governor, by 
heroically suppressing some of the counties and their 
delegations, managed to pass a quit-rent law that was in 
conformity with his instructions 4 . Three years later John- 
ston died in office, and early in the term of his successor 
the quit rent law was repealed 5 . A new law passed in 1752 
seems never to have gone into operation 6 . In the mean- 
time, the small amount of quit rents that was paid seems 
to have been paid in rated commodities 7 . 

Closely connected with the above discussion was another 
about the place for receiving quit rents. In early times 
they were paid on the farms of the inhabitants, and 
although Tynte 5 . and perhaps other Governors, were di- 

i Col. Recs. of X. C. iv, 920, and iii, 144. * ibid, iii, 95. 

3 Ibid, iii, 143. 4 Ibid, iv, p. xviii, and Revision of 1752, p. 285. 

5 Revision of 1773, p. 123. 6 Revision of 1773, p. 167. 

7 Col. Recs. iv, 920. s Appointed Governor in 1708. Ibid, i, 694. 


Historical Papers. ■ 49 

rected to collect them at specific places, they continued to 
be paid as formerly. Burrington tried to make the same 
change, but failed 1 . In 1735 Grovernor Johnston, after also 
failing to get such a Bill passed through the Assembly, 
settled the matter by proclamation, and thereafter the few 
who chose or were compelled to pay quit rents took them 
to certain designated places." 

The rate of quit rents varied. In the earliest grants it 
followed the Virginia custom, which was one shilling for 
each fifty acres. The Proprietors were inclined to put it 
at a higher figure, but the Assembly petitioned against 
this, and the Lords agreed in 1668 that henceforth the in- 
habitants of Albemarle should hold their land on the same 
conditions on which land was held in Virginia 3 . This 
concession was known afterwards as 'the Great Deed of 
Grant,' and it was most carefully preserved. Throughout 
the colonial period it was considered the fountain of landed 
rights. Although the Proprietors continually ignored it, 
the settlers always appealed to it, and in 1T31 all the 
people claimed to hold under it 4 . 

Escheat and Forfeiture. By their grant the Proprietors 
had the incidents of escheat and forfeiture as well as the 
minor rights of wreckage, wastes, fisheries, etc. These are 
the only survivals of the older feudal incidents in the 
colonial laws. 

Land was granted on condition that it should be properly 
'seated' within three years 5 . In 1722 it was held that this 
was done when the grantee had built a house on, and had 
cultivated one acre of, each tract granted. The Governor 
and Council decided whether or not this had been done, 
and the minutes of this body show that a large part of its 
business was hearing petitions to declare older grants for- 
feited and to issue new grants for the same. 

1 Ibid, iii, p. vi. 2 Ibid, iv, pp. xiv-xvi. 

3 Ibid, i, 175. 4 Col. Recs. iii, 144. 

5 Cf. the Virginian grants, Ibid, i, 59-67, and also Ibid, iii, 148. 


50 Laxdholding in Colonial N. C. 

Land escheated as under the Common Law on failure of 
heirs and for conviction of felony, treason, or felo de se\ 
We find but slight mention of the latter cause, most 
escheats being for failure of heirs, which was held to have 
occurred when there were no heirs in the province'. Like 
its English model, the County Palatine of Durham, North 
Carolina had an Escheator with various local deputies. 
His duty was restricted to deciding whether or not the 
deceased had heirs 3 . This he accomplished with the assist- 
ance of a jury of twelve men, whose verdict he communi- 
cated to the Council. Escheatable lands reverted immedi- 
ately on the death of an intestate holder without heirs. 
This was important, because the person in actual possession 
at the moment of escheat might make composition for the 
land at twopence an acre 4 . The relatives of the deceased 
holder who were not heirs were given a preference in taking 
the escheated land on the payment of the composition 
money. The following was the order as established by the 
Assembly : the widow or the widower ; the father ; the 
mother; the eldest half-brother; the half-sister or half- 
sisters, each sharing alike ; the nearest of kin ; and finally 
the nearest person who should petition for it 5 . The com- 
position money was all that was paid to secure the land, 
'be the improvement more or less.' Heirs to land that had 
been escheated for seven years were debarred from suing to 
recover the same. 

By the royal charter the Proprietors were granted the 
privileges of mines — for w T hich they w r ere to pay one-fifth 
of all gold and silver ore — together with the right to 
wrecks, fisheries, chases, etc. At first they reserved mines 
for themselves 6 , but by 1712 they were granting them to 
individuals for a share of the minerals taken out 7 . The 
privileges of hunting, fishing, and hawking they readily 

i Ibid, i, 453. * Ibid, ii, 317, 323, 305. 3 Ibid, ii, 305. 

4 Ibid, ii, 451, 452. 5 Laws of 1715, ch. 30; see Rev. of 1752. pp. 11, 12. 

6 Col. Recs. i, 183, 237. 7 Ibid, i, 347. 

Historical Papers. 51 

granted with the land. They also established wreckers 
whose duty it was to recover k all wrecks, ambergrice, and 
other ejections of the sea 1 .' This office is mentioned in the 
early correspondence only, and it is probable that it was 
soon abandoned. 

Conditions of Granting Land. In 1663 the land held 
by the whites in Xorth Carolina was claimed either by 
purchase from the Indians 2 or by grant from Virginia 3 . 
The Proprietors recognized the latter grants since they 
were settled according to the usual Virginia allotment, but 
because the former were large and irregular tracts it was 
thought that they ought to be reduced to the conditions of 
the regular allotments. After thus stating their opinions 
they left Sir William Berkeley, then Governor of Virginia 
and one of the Proprietors, to settle the matter as he saw 
fit*. We hear nothing directly from Berkeley, but we have 
evidence that in each case holders were compelled to take 
out new patents 5 . 

The lands first taken were always those along the rivers, 
insomuch that it has been remarked that the early history 
of the colony was but the story of a -search for bottom 
land.' The Proprietors tried to regulate this demand by 
saying how much of a grant should lie on a stream. In 
the Royal Period the King tried to secure a similar result, 
by directing that of a land grant the side lying on the river 
should not be more than a fourth of the side at right angles 
to it, 

In 1665 the Proprietors made their first formal proposals 
to settlers. They offered to each free man who had already 
come into Albemarle countv 6 eightv acres of land for him- 
self and, if married, eighty acres for his wife. A free 
woman who had arrived with a servant was to have a like 

i Ibid, i, 240. 2 ibid, i, 19. 3 Ibid, i, 17. and 59-67. 

* Ibid, i, 53. 54. 5 Ibid, i, 253. 270. 

6 Albemarle County lay in the northeast corner of the present State, and 
was the separate Government out of which the later colony grew. 

52 Landholdixg in Colonial N. C. 

amount. For each able-bodied man-servant, armed and 
victualled for six months, the master or mistress was to 

have eighty acres, and for each weaker servant, -as women, 
children, and slaves* above fourteen years, forty acres. 
Every Christian servant was promised forty acres at the 
expiration of the period of servitude. Those who should 
arrive in the next three years were respectively to have 
sixty and thirty acres instead of eighty and forty. Those 
arriving in the year 166S were to have just half as much as 
those who had already settled there 1 . These amounts were 
repeated with slight variation in the instructions to Gov- 
ernors until 1(584 and perhaps still later, but it is possible 
that they were not put into practice. In 1694 it was the 
custom to grant fifty acres to each person brought in with- 
out regard to sex or condition. This was in imitation of 
the Virginia custom with which it was identical. At any 
rate, from 1694 proving a right* meant in the colony taking 
up fifty acres of land for importing one person". 

Abuses at times crept into the land office. One of these 
was allowing a man to prove a right for each time he had 
come into the country. One James Minge proved on one 
occasion six rights for himself and four for his negro 
Robin 3 . To remedy this evil the Council ordered in 171-2 
that thenceforth a man could prove but one importation 
for one person 4 . Another abuse was in surveying improp- 
erly. In 1729 Maurice Moore received a tract whose survey 
called for 1,000 acres. Twenty years later it was resur- 
veyed and found to contain 3,834 acres . Against this 
there was a law on the statute-books as early as 1715, and 
as late as 1752. which provided that if a man suspected his 
estate to contain more land than his survey specified he 
might have it resurveyed. and if the surplus were greater 
than one-tenth of the whole he should either forfeit the 

i Col. Recs. i, SI, 88. * Ibid, iii, 424, 426. 3 Ibid, i, 635. 
4 Ibid. i. 865. 5 Ibid, iv, 765, 1012. 

Historical Papers. 53 

same or take out a patent for it 1 . This, however, was a 
rather lame remedy, inasmuch as it left the initiative to 
come from the holder. 

The right to receive land for importations could be proved 
either before the Council, the General Court, or the Pre- 
cinct Courts. As the rjrovince became more extensively 
settled it was left almost entirely to the last-mentioned 
body. This condition, however, was reversed in the Royal 
Period, where we find it almost entirely in the hands of 
the Council, called for this purpose the Court of Claims. 

A noticeable fact in the history of landholding in North 
Carolina was the usual smallness of the estates. Large 
estates would scatter the population and consequently 
would endanger the existence of a young colony. The 
people understood this, and one of their earliest laws — 
confirmed by the Proprietors in 1670 — declared that no 
surveyor should lay out for one person more than 660 acres 
'in one devidend,' unless the person had special permission 
from the Lords 3 . This law was to expire in five years, but 
its spirit continued. Early in the next century the Pro- 
prietors limited all ordinary sales to 640 acres in one tract 4 , 
and the royal governors were instructed to the same end 5 . 
Larger grants were occasionally met with, but these rarely 
held over three or four thousand acres. To this there is 
one exception. In 1737 Murray Crymble and others secured 
a grant of 1.200,000 acres on which they obligated to settle 
within ten years one white person for each one hundred 
acres. The enterprise was hardly a success. When it was 
finally closed up much more than half of the land lapsed 
to the Crown, and the remainder was left in the hands of 
small holders. The whole affair was a speculation and left 
no impression on the land system 6 . 

i Revision of 1732, p. 10 (Laws of 1715, ch. 29). * Col. Recs. iii, 184. 
3 Ibid, i, 186. 4 Col. Recs. i, 706. 

5 Ibid, vii, 512, 543; also see Brickell. Nat. Hist, of N. C., p. 12. 

6 See Col. Recs. iv. 253, vi. 718, 773, vii. 453, viii. 52, 63, 254. 

54 Landholding in Colonial N. C. 

When the King purchased Carolina one of the Proyjrie- 
tors did not sell his share of the land. In 1744 this share 
was laid off to him, and it fell in North Carolina 1 . The 
Proprietor was Lord Carteret, or Earl Granville as he had 
been created. He possessed his estates like any other pri- 
vate citizen. He continued to collect his fines, escheats, 
and forfeitures, as formerly, and to sell land for quit rents. 
When war broke out with Great Britain the State Govern- 
ment confiscated this property. 

The Fundamental Constitutions and Land. We can- 
not pass to the more technical phase of our subject with- 
out speaking of the Fundamental Constitutions. As the 
Proprietors did not seriously attempt to put them into op- 
eration a few words will be sufficient here. In respect of 
persononal freedom they were liberally conceived. In re- 
spect of landed property and the social organization de- 
pending on it, they were decidedly reactionary. They 
were ill-suited to the people for whom they were intended, 
and met with slight respect from those who originated 
them. While it is doubtless true that the Lords desired 
to put them into possession, it is also true that they never 
seriously attempted to do it. Along with the first copy 
that arrived in the colony came a set of rules which were 
to be followed until the more elaborate system could be 
made to work 2 . These rules constituted a temporary con- 
stitution, and under that the government was conducted. 
This is as near as the famous system ever came to a vital 
existence. The political development of the people was 
steadily away from it. Being intended for a full-grown 
cock it remained but an unhatched chick, with a few oscil- 
lations but never a sturdy stroke. It lingered in an un- 
certain state for about forty years, and then passed out of 
sight so quietly that the most painstaking research has not 
been able to determine when it ceased to exist. 

Col. Rec3. 655. a ibid, i. 181. 

Historical Papers. 55 

The Fundamental Constitutions 1 recognized six classes of 
landholders; Proprietors, Landgraves, Caciques. Lords 
of Manors, freemen and leetmen. The first three ela$060 
constituted the hereditary nobility. The size of their es- 
tates was prescribed by law. Their lands were indivis- 
ible, inalienable, and descended according to the rules of 
primogeniture. These nobles could grant lands for not ex- 
ceeding three lives or twenty-one years, provided they re- 
tained one-third of their property as demesne. Each of 
these three ranks were to constitute one of the four estates 
which made up the parliament. There were to be eight 
properties — one for each Proprietor — one Landgrave, and 
one Cacique in each County. The land of all these together 
was to be two -fifths of the County. Manors could be cre- 
ated within certain limits. They were alienable but not 
divisible. The Lord of the Manor could not grant a part 
of the manor for longer than three lives or twenty-one 
years. Each of these four classes had leetmen and could 
hold courts leet. The freemen held directly under the 
Proprietors as a body and were required — as well as all 
other landowners — to believe in a God, who was 'publicly 
and solemnly to be worshiped.' A leetman could not 
move off from his lord's estate without that lord's written 
permission. The rank was inherited or entered volunta- 
rily. On the marriage of a leetman or a leetwoman the 
lord was to give the pair ten acres of land for their lives, 
and for this not more than one-eighth of the yearly pro- 
duce could be taken as rent. 

The Indians and Land. Sir Walter Raleigh's first ex- 
pedition to Roanoke Island carried to England a young 
Indian chief called Manteo. Him the next expedition 
brought back so full of Christian ides that he was forthwith 
baptized and made -Lord of Roanke.' This incident illus- 
trates the attitude of the white man towards the red man's 

1 They may be found in any collection of Locke's writings; also in Col. 
Recs. i 187. 

56 Landholding in Colonial N. C. 

land. Everywhere the former claimed all the land and 
then assumed to allow the latter to hold a part of it as a ten- 
ant. For a space the two parties lived side by side, usu- 
ally as allies. Then there was war. The European won 
and was in possession to establish his claim. 

This process is clearly seen in North Carolina. In 1G91 
the Proprietors declared that they had long since taken 
the Indians under their protection 'as subjects to the mon- 
archy of England 1 .' War came twenty years later, and 
immediately afterwards the Indians' lands were surveyed, 
that is to say, the savages were restricted to what we 
should now call 'reservations 2 .' In order to secure this 
land to the Indians a law was passed which forbade any 
white man without the consent of the Council to purchase 
any land that was claimed, or actually possessed, by an 
Indian 3 . 

The estate of the Red Men in their land was merely one 
of possession. An Act of 1729 (chap. 2) stipulated that the 
transaction under consideration should not be construed 
to 'invest the fee simple of the said lands in the Indi- 
ans.' If, however, an Indian held land individually this 
Act was not to apply to him*. In 1748 (ch. 3, 2d section") 
an Act was passed to ascertain the bounds of the Tusca- 
rora lands. These lands had been confirmed by treaty in 
1713. They were now continued anew to the Tuscaroras. 
their heirs, and successors for ever, or so long as they 
should live on them. The Indians were to pay quit rents, 
and no person for any consideration was to purchase any 
of the land. Those whites then living on it were required 
to leave at once, but persons who had received grants for 
parts of it might enter and enjoy the same as soon as the 
savages had moved off 5 . When in 1776 (ch. 29) the Tus- 
caroras as a tribe sold their lands and left the province. 

i Col. Recs. i. 378. * Ibid. ii. 140, 316. 

3 Revision of 1752, p. 39 (.Laws of 1715, ch. 59). •* Ibid. p. 72. 

5 Ibid. p. 247. 

Historical Papers. 57 

the transfer was sanctioned by the Assembly. The mere 
consent of the Council does not seem to have been consid- 
ered sufficient 1 to convey a good title. 

Alienation. The ordinary form of land transfer in North 
Carolina was the deed. Its popularity was perhas as much 
due to the fact that it was employed by the Proprietors 
in granting lands to settlers as to its superior convenience. 
It seems to have supplanted all other forms, except perhaps 
lease and release. Certain it is that fines and recoveries 
were not in use in North Carolina 2 . 

The absence of lines and recoveries caused inconvenience 
in reference to two kinds of transfers : (1) conveyances bv 
femes coverts, and (2) the barring of entails. In regard to 
the former it was the early custom for the husband to con- 
vey with his wife's consent or for both to convey jointly, 
acknowledging the conveyance in Court after the wife was 
privately examined. By Act of 1715 (ch. 28) the latter 
was made the proper method, but the law was declared not to 
apply to entails. A difficulty arose from the incon- 
venience of getting the consent in Court of a feme who 
was either seriously sick or out of the province. In 1751 
this was remedied by requiring in such cases, in addition 
to the husband's acknowledgement, a commission from 
the clerk to some third party who was to examine the wife 
as to her consent and report under oath to th Court 3 . 

In the early period entails were barred by private Acts 
of the Assembly. The expense of this prevented ordina- 
rily the alienation of small estates tail. In 17-19 ^eh. 4, 1st 
session") the Assembly enacted that entailed estates of less 
than fifty pounds value should thenceforth be alienated by 
a deed of bargain and sale for a valuable consideration ac- 
tually delivered. Such a conveyance was to pass the fee 
and to bar the entail, remainder, and reversion. To de- 
termine the value of such an estate the Secretary of the 

1 Revision of 1773, p. 369. 

2 Revision of 1752, p. 9 (Laws of 1715, ch. 23). 3 Ibid. p. 337. 

58 Landholding in Colonial N. C. 

province was to issue a writ ad quod damnum under which 
the Sheriff was to appoint a number of 'good and lawful 
men' to value the land in question and to report on the 
same. Such a deed of bargain and sale must be acknowl 
edged in Court and duly registered 1 . The more valuable 
entailed estates continued to be barred, as formerly, by 
means of private bills. 

Alienation by inheritance followed the general English 
practice, which was primogeniture. This view is supported 
by two facts. (1) There is not on the statute-book any 
law which interferes with primogeniture. We should 
therefore expect the English practice to prevail. (2) We 
find in various records several references to the -heir-at- 
law' in a way which indicates that one of the heirs 1 of an 
intestate ancestor had landed right superior to those of 
the other heirs 3 . The Act cited in note 3 indicates that 
primogeniture was stronger in the colony as a custom than 
as a right. Its importance was generally lessened by the 
free alienation by wills and by the ready sale of land for 
debt. As for wills, they were made under the statutes 32 
& 34 & 35 Henry VIII. Social and economic reasons made 
it difficult for an estate to pay off the debts of its owner, 

i Revision of 1752, p 291. 

2 It will be remembered that the American use of the word 'heir' is much 
wider than the English nse of it. 

3 An Act in 1766 (ch: 5) — which is not the first time this Act appears in 
the Laws — directed the administrator of an estate to give the widow one 
third and to distribute the remainder among the children. If any child 
'not being the heir-at-law' had received property from the intestate by set- 
tlement or otherwise, it was to be counted in his share of the distributed 
property. 'But the heir at law, notwithstanding any land that he shall 
have by descent, or otherwise, from the intestate, is to have an equal part in 
the distribution with the rest of the children, without any consideration of 
the value of the land which he hath by descent or otherwise from the intes- 
tate. ' In this Act the term "heir-at law' is used three times. See also Revision 
of 1773, p. 343; also Revision of 1765, p. 232. We also note that in 1729 
Governor Burrington complained that certain executions in trust had de- 
tained 'the residum from the heir-at-law,' after paying legacies. Cf. Col. 
Recs. iii. 28. 

Historical Papers. 59 

and consequently it was thought best to sell it. By an 
early law the lands of persons who had left the colony 
were held for debt 1 . This was repealed in 1746. An En- 
glish statute (5 Geo. II), called ; An Act for the more Easy 
Recovery of Debts in His Majesty's Plantations,' relaced 
these laws. In 1764 Xorth Carolina made a law supple- 
mentary to the British Act, but it was disallowed by the 
King 2 . " 

Registration. From the beginning land deeds were re- 
quired to be registered. In 1665, twelve years before the 
Statute of Frauds, the proprietors established the office of 
Registrar. The Registrar's duty was to record grants from 
the Lords as well as 'all conveyances of land howse or howses 
from man to man, as also leases for land howse or howses 
made or to be made by the landlord to any tenant for more 
than one year 3 . ' The first deed registered was the valid one. 
At first a deed must be proved by two witnesses before the 
Governor or "some Chief Judge of a Court.' Gradually 
the function was taken away from the Governor, and by 
1715 it was centered in the local, or Precinct, Courts, 
where it remained ever afterwards. This law of 1715 (eh. 
38) provided that all land deeds, except mortgages, must 
be registered within twelve months or they would not con- 
vey a valid title. Deeds thus executed passed ^estates in 
land, or rights to other estates, without livery of seizin, 
attornment, or other ceremony in the Law whatsoever.' 
The first deed registered was the valid one, but if a first 
mortgage should be registered within fifty days a sec- 
ond one previously registered should not invalidate it. 
The giver of a second mortgage, the first remaining in 
force, was to lose its equity of redemption. Finally, a 
mortgage should not bar a widow of her right of dower 4 . 

/This law did not entirely accomplish its object. In 1741 

i Laws of 1715 ch. 18; also Col. Recs. iii. 182. 

2 Revision of 1765, p. 358, and Revision of 1773. p. 328. 

3 Col. Recs. i. 79. 4 Revision of 1752, p. 20. 

60 Landholping in Colonial X. C. 

many persons through either ignorance or neglect had 
failed to register their deeds within the proper time. These 
were relieved by having their time extended one year. In 
1756 the same class of delinquents had the time extended 
two years, and this same law was after that re-enacted 
five times before 1773. 

An interesting fact in this connection is the adherence to 
the ancient custom of -processioning lands.' In 1723 
(ch. 4) an Act was passed providing that ; the lands of 
every person in this government shall be processioned and 
the marks renewed once in every three years.* Two free- 
holders, appointed for the purpose, and such others as 
would go along, were to go over the bounds of the land, 
finding and renewing the marks. These two men made report 
of their action to the Precinct Court, where the report was 
preserved by the clerk. Persons whose lands were twice 
'processioned' were to be considered sole owners and might 
plead this Act to that end ; provided, however, that this 
law should not defeat the rights of reversion and remain- 
der, or the titles of orphans, femes coverts, lunatics, &c. 
Persons having these rights were to have liberty to sue for 
their rights within three years after the removal of disabil- 
ities 1 . The law for processioning remained on the statute- 
books in 1773. but it is likely that it was but poorly 
enforced 2 - 

Occupation. In the laws of 1715 (ch. 27) it was pro- 
vided that all persons who who held titles through sales 
made by creditors, by husbands and wives jointly, by hus- 
bands in right of their wives or by endorsement of parents 
and who without suit in law should continue in posses- 
sion for seven years, these persons should have the legal 
title. Moreover, persons claiming lands, tenements, and 
-hereditaments must present their claims within seven 

i Revision of 1752, p, 54. 

2 It was re-enacted in 1792, and further amended by chap. 28, 1816. 

Historical Papers. 61 

years after the rights descended or accrued, or be debarred 
from suing afterwards. Orphans, femes coverts, and 
infants were allowed three years in which to make claim 
after the disabilaties were removed 1 . This law may possi- 
bly be very old law, for as has been said, the laws of 1715 
were mostly revisions. Perhaps it is not too much to 
connect it with a provision of the Proprietors in 1GG5 
which declared that all who quietly enjoyed their land for 
seven years should not be required to resurvey them for 
any consideration whatsoever. 

The above law deals with occupation where there is 
'color of title. ' As to occupation w without colour of ti- 
tle,' we find no mention of it in the early history of the 
colony. It is as late as 1755 (ch. 5) that we rind a law al- 
lowing a good title to those who could prove undisturbed 
possession for twenty years. Here also infants and femes 
coverts could sue within three years after removal of dis- 
abilities*. This law was on the statute-book of 1765. but 
in that of 1773 it was indicated as k repealed by proclama- 
tion.' It embodies the only legislation on the subject that 
is to be found in the colonial laws. 

John S. Bassett. 

i Revision of 1773, p. 4. 

62 Running the Blockade. 


One of the most thrilling phases of the history of the 
Civil War is that which deals with running the blockade 
from, and into, the Southern ports. The absolute de- 
pendence of the South on European markets, both to sell 
her cotton and to obtain military supplies, induced the 
Confederate government early in its existence to foster 
blockade-running as much as possible. The convenience 
of neutral harbors in the West Indies, the Bahamas, and 
the Bermudas was especially fortunate for such plans, and 
the year 1861 was not half gone before a number of fast 
sailing, low built, duskily painted ships were plying with 
much regularity between these islands and Wilmington, 
N. C, Charleston, Savannah and other Southern harbors. 

The destination of a blockade runner was usually 
Nassau. This place, until it became the metropolis of the 
blockade trade, was of very little commercial importance. 
Its inhabitants had supported themselves by a thriftless 
kind of agriculture and by a sharp — some times too sharp 
— practice of wrecking. They were idle, good natured, 
and unambitious. Had it depended on them to manage 
the blockade trade, the Southern Confederacy might have 
perished of starvation. English merchants, as well as the 
Southerners themselves, saw the favorableness of the situ- 
ation. Ere long the streets and quays of Nassau tilled 
with sharp-eyed men, whose whole bearing betokened the 
speculator. Agents for London firms opened offices and 
erected warehouses. Ships began to unload vast quantities 
of war supplies. The harbor swarmed with craft of all 
kinds. The one hotel, which had hitherto been a ruinous 
investment, now became a handsome property. The docks 
were crowded with rollicking sailors and lounging natives, 
the latter finding as stevedores the best employment they 
had ever had. Living of all kinds became extravagantly 
dear. The men who had so suddenlv swarmed thither 


Historical Papers. 63 

were able to live high. The salary of the captain of a 
blockade runner was more for one month than that of the 
governor of the island for a year. The English garrison 
found the expense of living so great that they felt con- 
strained to apply to their government for an increased 

Of course the business of running the blockade was very 
profitable. The inward bound cargo was purchased at low 
figures in Europe and sold at high prices in the Confed- 
eracy. The return cargo was composed chiefly of cotton 
bought in a Hooded market in the South and sold in a 
famishing market in Liverpool. As the war continued, 
these profits increased. If a ship could make only a few 
successful trips, the profits would be enough to enable the 
owners to realize a handsome sum, even though she should 
thereafter fall into the hands of the Union authorities. 
Those ships that made from twenty to fifty trips — and 
there were not a few of them — brought immense wealth to 
their owners. The officers and crews on such ships re- 
ceived, besides their liberal wages, a portion of the profits 
of the enterprise. While on shore at Nassau they were 
well provided for by the agents of the London owners. 
They were usually jolly and reckless fellows, willing to 
take a great deal of risk and quick-witted enough to extri- 
cate themselves from many a tight place. Many of the 
captains were Englishmen of prolonged naval experience. 
Some were officers of the English navy, who. tired of the 
inertia of life on half pay, volunteered in the present busi- 
ness, both for the money and the adventure to be had. If 
the ship were captured by the Americans there was no 
great danger for such men. The vessel would be taken to 
New York, where the ship and cargo would be confiscated, 
and those of the crew who were not Americans would be 
released as citizens of a foreign nation. An English officer 
in this service usually went under an assumed name. For 
instance, a certain "Captain Roberts," who commanded a 

64 Running the Blockade. 

boat called "The Don." was in reality a titled officer in 
the British navy, and ended his life many years later as a 
high officer in the Turkish navy. He made six trips from 
Nassau to Wilmington and returned to England with a 
snug fortune. 

Actually going through the blockade was not so perilous 
as one may at first be disposed to imagine. The attempt 
must be made on a dark night. The low-decked vessels 
were painted as nearly the color of the water as possible, 
so that they could not easily be discerned from a distance. 
The success of this feature of their construction is seen in 
the fact that one of them falling in during the early morn- 
ing with a number of American cruisers on the South Car- 
olina coast decided to lie to as near the coast as possible. 
Behind her was a dark outline of forest and here she lay 
for a whole day unrecognized by the several passing 
cruisers, who would gladly have snapped her up if she had 
been discovered. 

A blockade runner, having loaded in a Southern port. 
would wait until a dark night and then, dropping down 
the harbor during the afternoon and lying concealed be- 
hind some highland till the tide was highest, she would 
make a sudden dash between the grim sentinels that com- 
posed the blockading squadron. It was something of an 
experience to go scooting at a sixteen-knot speed through 
a swarm of bellowing men-of-war, to hear the shots that 
were meant for your own unprotected hull whistling over 
your head, and to know that the next shot might be the one 
that would send your own craft to the bottom. Over such a 
scene would glare the rays of the Drummond Lights, 
which were burnt to reveal the whereabouts of the fleeing 
vessel. Great as the danger seems, it was not without 
elements of safety. The excitement often confused the 
gunners on the blockaders so that their shot went astray. 
Ten minutes of full speed through such an ordeal was 
enough to put a swift vessel out of immediate danger. An 

Historical Papers. 65 

hour more would put her beyond the reach of the 
squadron. From that time the trip might be uneventful 
until the neighborhood of Nassau was reached. Here a 
number of cruisers might be expected and the navigator 
must call forth his most careful seamanship. The South- 
erners used to complain that this was a virtual blockade of 
a neutral harbor, but could not get the British government 
to see the matter in that light. Here the danger was less 
than on Southern coasts, for the cruisers, being compelled 
to keep three miles from shore, could not concentrate so as 
to guard the channel. They accordingly were compelled 
to try to run down their victims. It created no surprise to 
see a smart blockade runner come flying into the harbor 
with an augry Federal cruiser closely at her heels. It was 
not always possible for the pursuer to refrain from sending 
a parting shot across the bow of the fugitive, even after 
the neutral line had been crossed. An hour later both 
ships might be lying at the same dock and their officers 
dining in the same hotel. 

One of the best situated ports in the South for blockade 
running was Wilmington, N. C. After the capture of 
Norfolk, Va., it was farthest north of all the better Con- 
federate ports, and consequently nearest to the most 
considerable military operations. The mouth of the Cape 
Fear river is surrounded by shoals and it discharges its 
waters through two channels or inlets. It was almost im- 
possible to blockade such a place. The blockade runners, 
who carried their own pilots, often picked out safely and 
deftly the channel and triumphantly made the port, while 
the pursuing gunboats went aground on the shoals. Not 
all of the blockade runners, however, were so fortunate. 
The approach to the river is to this day lined with the 
wrecks of the unfortunates that in the ardor of flight ran 
on the shoals and were not able to get off again. 

Of the vessels of this description that came into Wil- 
mington, perhaps the best known was the Advance — 

66 Running the Block ad?:. 

named in honor of the wife of Governor Vance. This was 
a fast steam packet built od the Clyde, and known there 
as the Lord Clyde. She was purchased by the State of 
North Carolina and used in bringing in supplies for the 
army, as well as other freight. She made twelve trips 
successfully and her arrival on each occasion was hailed 
with thankfulness by the starving people of that State. 
At last she was captured on account of defective coal. She 
had been obliged to give up part of her regular supply of 
anthracite to a cruiser that had brought in two riiied guns 
for the forts, and to take instead a supply of coal from the 
Egypt mines. This choked the flues and made so dense a 
smoke that her course was revealed, and she was chased 
and captured. Another notable blockade runner from this 
port was The Siren, a fast but small boat of great beauty, 
that made as many as fifty successful trips. 

The actual conditions of life on a blockade runner may 
best be seen by following the experiences of a captain 
engaged in that business. One of the best for this pur- 
pose is the experience of Captain John Newland Maffit, 
which I shall relate. 

Early in 1862 Captain Maffit sailed about dusk from 
Nassau for Wilmington. N. C. At daybreak on the follow- 
ing day he found himself in the company of three American 
cruisers. Increasing speed to the fullest capacity he sailed 
away from these although they fired briskly. In a few 
hours he discovered two more just ahead and sailing 
straight for him. These he managed to escape by running 
a zig-zag course. A short time later he came across a 
Spanish ship on fire. Sending a man aloft to keep a sharp 
lookout, he sent an officer to the distressed vessel. The 
flames were soon extinguished, thanks were returned, and 
Captain Maffit sailed on his hunted way. He especially 
relished the aiding of the Spaniard, because on board of 
her were two New England ladies returning from a visit to 
Cuba. He chuckled to think what they would have said 

Historical Papers. 67 

had they known they had received aid from a blockade 
runner of the Confederates. 

On the evening of the succeeding day he found himself 
without further adventure seventy miles southeast of Wil- 
mington. He dashed off sixty miles at full speed and ar- 
ranged to pick his way carefully through the blockaders for 
the other ten. The usual shore lights had been extinguished 
for fear they might aid the Federals in some scheme of night 
attack. Says Captain Maffit : ''Success in making the des- 
tined harbor depended on exact navigation, a knowledge of 
the coast, its surroundings and currents, a fearless approach, 
and the banishment of the subtle society of John Barley- 
corn." In this case his calculations were well made. Just 
as the lead indicated he was nearing the shore, he heard 
seven bells strike ahead of him. It was the time for high 
tide on the bar, as he expected it should be. Looking for- 
ward he could dimly make out two men-of-war, so placed 
as to indicate that the channel lay between them. He de- 
cided to dart through, hoping to pass unnoticed, and ordered 
full speed ahead. A hissing sound, followed by the ascent 
of a rocket, told him he was mistaken in this. Suddenly a 
speaking trumpet, that seemed to project over his very deck, 
commanded: * 'Heave to, or I will sink you ! ' ' "Ay, ay, 
sir ! " came the reply. And then in a loud voice : "Stop the 
engines !" Every Confederate heart sank. The dreaded 
fate they had feared so long had come. It was surrender. 
By this time the momentum of the vessel had carried her 
beyond the two sphinx-like sentinels, who were making 
ready to send a boarding party. The gruff voice again rang 
out: "Back your engines, sir, and stand by to receive my 
boat. ' ' "Full sp>eed ahead, sir, and open wide your throttle- 
valve !' * said Captain Maffit, in a low voice, to his engineer. 
In the darkness the Federals could not tell that the vessel 
was not really backing, and, having gotten ready to board, 
their gunners were not in position to tire instantly. They 
were soon undeceived and hurriedly opened tire. They 

68 Legal Regulation of Public Morals. 

burned Drummond lights, but the mists refracted the rays 
so as to raise the ship above her true position. Accord- 
ingly, many shots passed over her hull, but none struck it. 
The next few moments were anxious ones for those on 
board with Captain Maffit. The ship carried nine hundred 
barrels of powder, and a hot shot into these might send 
the crew to a fate more awful than capture. As a matter of 
fact they escaped by a few moments of rapid sailing, and 
a short while later they were quietly anchored beneath the 
guns of Fort Fisher. Next morning the vessel proceeded 
at an easy sail to Wilmington, where she quietly unloaded 
her cargo. The gunpowder was sent to the front, and Gen- 
eral Johnston used it a few days later in fighting the battle 
oi Shiloh. It was a thrilling adventure, and it illustrates, 
and better than anything else, the life that men who ran 
the blockade lived and the spirit it was necessary to have 
in order to go through it. It indicates one of the most 
worthy fields of investigation in the whole story of our 
notable war. Johx S. Bassett. 


The first provision made for a church in Xorth Carolina 
was in the charter granted to Sir Robert Heath in 1629. 
Other church pro visions were re-enacted in charters to the 
Lords Proprietors in 1663, and in 1665. Of course these 
provisions were for a state church, all the efforts on the 
part of the authorities in England being in this direction, 
that is to say, to incorporate church and state. The first 
effort to put these provisions into practice was the vestry act 
of 1701. Another act, that of 1704. precipitated the Gary 
Rebellion. From 1730 till 1773 the i -Schism Act" was 

*In preparing this paper I have consulted "The Public Acts of the Assem- 
bly of the Province of Xorth Carolina," and "Church and State in Xorth 
Carolina:' by S. B. Weeks, Ph. D. 

Historical Papers. 69 

The British Toleration Act, or Act of Indulgence, of 1689, 
defined the position of dissenters from the Established 
Church. Dissenters were allowed places of worship pro- 
tected from disturbance, if they took the oath of allegiance 
and subscribed to the declaration against transubstantia- 
tion. But such congregations had to be registered, and 
the doors of their meeting-houses left unlocked and un- 
barred. All ministers had to endorse the Anglican creed, 
except that Baptists were relieved from subscribing to the 
doctrine of infant baptism, and Quakers must adhere to 
the government, abjure transiibstantiation. profess faith in 
the Trinity and in the inspiration of the Bible. Dissenters 
were excluded from the English universities, and the An- 
glican ceremony alone was good enough to tie the matri- 
monial knot. The Corporation and Test Acts kept many 
from entering corporations or holding public offices. 

From 1701 till 1710 there was much opposition to the 
Establishment, but in the latter year the churchmen got 
the upper hand and held it for some time. Unexecuted 
statutes provided for from £30 to £50 for ministers' sala- 
ries. The vestry act of 1715 was the first church act to 
come down to us. The legislation of this troubled period 
clearly indicates that the right to dissent was not yet to be 
recognized. The vestrymen appointed in the various par- 
ishes were compelled to subscribe to the Anglican creed 
under pain of a £3 fine, unless they were avowed dissen- 
ters. Vestrymen and church-wardens were granted power 
to purchase glebes and build churches in each precinct 
with money levied on the poll and collected under a heavy 
penalty in case of refusal or neglect of payment. But laws 
are hard to enforce where the moral sentiment of the people 
is not behind them. 

After all this legislation churches and ministers were 
hard to find in the province, for salaries were small and 
hardships numerous. The Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel, to supply the great need of preaching, now 
sent missionaries to this promising field. The first eight 

70 Legal Regtlation of Public Morals. 

who came under the auspices of this society were either 
extremely weak or vicious. Somn were cowardly and 
vacillating; some were knaves, some thieves, and one was 
a drunkard. John CJrmstone was fond of cider, rum. and 
trading. He was called "the starving missionary," from 
his continual complaint of hard times. He was the 
plague of the church in the province for ten years. 
This dissipated, worldly-minded divine suddenly dis- 
appeared in 1721 — presumably to ask of St. Peter ad- 
mittance at Heaven's gate. It is said the cause of 
Christ would have been the gainer had he never set 
foot within the borders of the colony. He was a slave- 
owner, a liquor-vender, a chronic grumbler, an incor- 
rigible liar, and very avaricious. He administered the 
sacrament twice in the space of five years. He was much 
worse than the men he came to save. The next two mis- 
sionaries, James Adams and William Gordon, were good 
men. The former remained in the province four months, 
the latter two years, although suffering greatly in both 
body and mind. He administered the sacrament several 
times and baptized nearly three hundred persons. 

The Establishment is largely responsible for the back- 
wardness of the State in education and intellectual pursuits. 
No school teacher was allowed to leave England or to keep 
school in the province without license from the bishop of 
London. Restrictions were placed on all schools. In fact, 
the establishment of schools was not encouraged. While 
the Occasional Conformity Bill, supplemented in 1714 by 
the Schism Act, was intended to exclude dissenters from all 
posts of honor, power and profit, the Schism Act did oper- 
ate to crush their seminaries and deprive them of the means 
of educating their children. This was the heritage the 
mother country gave us. Under these restraints the people 
were restless. Their opposition had a wholesome effect 
upon the rulers. The spirit of fear went far toward miti- 
gating the original instructions of the governors. The 
people were opposed to paying taxes imposed in the name 

Historical Papeks. 71 

of religion, when that religion was construe 1 to be identi- 
cal with conformity to the established church. Out of a 
poll tax of live shillings imposed for religions purposes, 
little more than enough was collected to pay the readers 
who officiated on Sunday, and the occasional clergyman 
coming from Virginia to preach before the Assembly. 

In 1734 Gabriel Johnston became governor. Notwith- 
standing their folly clearly exposed by former failures, the 
same instructions that had been sent to Gov. Burrington 
were repeated to Gov. Johnston, including the church acts 
and the Schism Act. Gov. Johnston was zealous for the 
Church. The condition of public morals was painful to 
him. He reminded the Assembly that the instructions for 
establishing the clergy were already on their books. He 
was much grieved at the deplorable and almost total want 
of divine worship in the province, and wrote feelingly and 
eloquently about it. In his, address to the Assembly in 
1739 he says : ; *The establishment of the public worship of 
Almighty God. as it is the great foundation of the happi- 
ness of society, and without which you cannot expect His 
protection, deserves your earliest care. That in such a 
wide-extended province as this is, inhabited by British 
subjects, by persons professing themselves Christians, there 
should be but two places where divine service is regularly 
performed, is really scandalous. It is a reproach peculiar 
to this part of His Majesty's dominion, which you ought 
to remove without loss of time." In 17-11, under Gabriel 
Johnston's administration, the only general church act was 
passed. It provided for a poll tax of live shillings. As 
this was inadequate in some parishes, special taxes were 
levied there. As money was scarce, provision was made 
for paying these taxes in commodities at fixed rates. 
Stringent fines were imposed upon all refusing or neglect- 
ing to pay these taxes. Where the Assembly authorized 
the establishing of a church, until such house could be 
built, the courthouse in that parish might be used for reli- 
gious purposes. 

72 Legal Regulation of Public Morals. 

Gov. Johnston believed 'that it was the duty of all well- 
regulated governments to keep the Lord's Bay holy, and 
to suppress vice and immorality. So he recommends that 
all on that day apply themselves to the duties of religion 
and piety, and by the act of 1741 it was made a misdemeanor 
to engage in ordinary labor, or in gaming or sport, on land 
or on sea, within his jurisdiction. Swearing before any 
one was a grave and punishable offence, but before the 
representatives of the law the tine was heavier. Drunken- 
ness on any day was fined, but on the Sabbath the tine was 
doubled. Each party in an act of fornication was fined 
twenty-live shillings. The father of a bastard was com- 
pelled, on pain of imprisonment, to support it ; but if the 
mother would not reveal the father, she was responsible 
for its support. The provisions in this paragraph were 
authorized to be read publicly in all places of worship, by 
the minister, clerk or reader. Persons unable to pay the 
fines for drunkenness or swearing before a court of record, 
were put in the stocks not exceeding three hours. A court- 
house, a prison, and stocks were ordered to be built in 
every parish. Violators of the tippling-house ordinance, 
upon failure to pay their fine or give security, were sub- 
jected to the whipping-post. The next year after Gov. 
Johnston's death all excessive and deceitful gaming was 
prohibited. One-half of the fines accruing from the viola- 
tion of this ordinance was devoted to the poor. One-half 
of all fines arising from violation of acts mentioned herein 
went to the informers. The other half was devoted some- 
times to the Church, sometimes to the province. 

Gov. Johnston died in 1752 and was succeeded by 
Arthur Dobbs. In 1730 the authorities in England had 
instructed Gov. Burrington to enforce the Schism Act, 
which had resulted in crippling the educational interests 
of the colony ; these same instructions were, in 1733. re- 
newed to Gov. Johnston; and in 1754. after twenty years 
of failure, the authorities, having gained no wisdom, again 

Historical Papers. 73 

renewed their old instructions, including the Schism Act. 
It seemed the home government was doing all in its power 
to hinder the growth, development, and liberty of the 
province. Gov. Dobbs began his administration in 1754 
with an earnest effort to provide support for a sufficient 
number of learned, pious clergymen, who were to live in 
the province. He wished to accommodate these ministers 
with houses, glebes, and parish clerks, that the rising gen- 
eration might be instructed in the principles of true reli- 
gion and virtue. 

The next ten years were years of trial. Act after act 
in regard to church-building or the hiring of clergymen 
was passed and almost immediately repealed. In 1760 
great numbers of dissenters Hocked into North Carolina, 
mainly from New England — Anabaptists, Methodists, Qua- 
kers, and Presbyterians. The Anabaptists and the Meth- 
odists were distinguished by their ignorance and obstinacy. 
The dissenters rendered the ministry and liturgy of the 
Church of England as odious as possible, that they and 
their doctrines might be the better supported. There was 
much scheming and corruption. Men took advantage of 
the technicalities of the acts of the Assembly to become 
vestrymen, after which they succeeded in making the laws 
null and void. Vestries worked for their own interests, 
performing their civic duties and ignoring their ecclesias- 
tical functions. In Rowan county vestrymen refused to 
qualify and business was obstructed. They wrangled con- 
stantly with the governor for an increase of their functions. 
Many would not go to the polls on election days, so an act 
was passed to compel all except Quakers to vote or pay a 
fine of twenty shilling. Shackles were put on all schools. 
After the repeal of the Schism Act in England, it was re- 
enforced three times in North Carolina. In educational 
matters there was less freedom in 1773 than in 1673. A 
more rigid conformity was required in Carolina than in 
England. This was tyranny. The history of provincial 


74 Legal Regulation of Public Morals. 

North Carolina shows a continual struggle against a gov- 
ernment which blindly sought to repress all aspirations 
whether political, religious, or intellectual. 

An act of 1669 had made marriage a civil contract for 
lack of clergy. In 1715 magistrates were empowered to 
perform the marriage ceremony in parishes where there 
was no minister. In 1741, in the palmy days of good old 
Gabriel Johnston, the right was taken from all dissenting 
ministers except Quakers, and provision was made that the 
ministers of the established Church should get all marriage 
fees, it mattered not who had performed the ceremony, 
unless the churchmen had positively refused to do so. 
Marriage of whites to negroes or Indians was prohibited. 
This was well enough. By this religious persecution, the 
rights of Quakers and Baptists were taken away. Strange 
discrimination it was to favor the Quakers in some respects 
and oppress them in others. The Baptists seem to have 
been always unfortunate. The Methodists had not yet 
figured very largely in the province. The Presbyterians 
ignored all legislation in regard to marriage, and married 
when they pleased, and doubtless as they liked, in the 
most approved style ; that is, without license or publica- 
tion. In 1766 the restriction was removed from regularly 
called Presbyterian ministers, but the minister of the 
Church of England in the parish got the fee. Not until 
the Revolution and the constitution of 1776 had swept 
away the Establishment did the dissenting clergy have the 
legal right to perform the marriage ceremony. 

Presbyterian and Quaker ministers, by special enact- 
ment, were released from general or private musters. 
Baptist ministers had to attend. 

While dissenters suffered distraint for tithes and mili- 
tary levies, they were not imprisoned, and only one man, 
named Borden, was deprived of office on account of reli- 
gious views. However, dissenters did not figure promi- 
nently as officeholders during the royal period. Sixty -six 

Historical Papers. 75 

years of constant agitation culminated in the Mecklenburg 
instructions of 1775 and the Declaration of Rights in 1770. 
and crystalized in the Halifax Constitution of 1776 and in 
the final adoption of the Federal Constitution of 1789. 
The final triumph of absolute religious freedom in this 
State was attained by the removal, in 1835, of what seemed 
to be a ban on Roman Catholics. 

B. F. Carpenter. 


Bartholomew Figures Moore was born near Fishing 
Creek, Halifax County. M. C January 29, 1801. The 
first seventeen years of his life were spent on his father's 
farm. In 1818 he entered the State University and was 
graduated from that institution in 1820. From 1820-23 he 
prepared himself for the practice of law, which he began 
at Nashville. X. C, remaining there until 1835, when he 
removed to Halifax county, his old home. In December, 
1828, he was married to Louisa Boddie, daughter of Geo. 
Boddie, Esq., of Xash county, who died November 4th, 

On April 19, 1835, he married Lucy W. Boddie, another 
daughter of George Boddie. Esq. He served in the House 
of Commons from 1886- ? 44, with the exception of '38. In 
1848 he was appointed by Governor Graham as Attorney- 
General of the State, and the next Legislature elected him 
to that position. In 1857 he resigned th^ position of 
Attorney General in consequence of an appointment on a 
commission to revise the statute law of the State. In 1848 
he moved to Raleigh, where he remained until his death on 
November 27. 1878. 

*The material from which this paper was written was taken from a 
Memorial Pamphlet, issued by the Bar of North Carolina, and letters writ- 
ten by Mr. Moore to his daughter. Mrs. Capehart. of Kittrell. N. C. They 
belong to the papers of the Historical Society of Trinity College. 

76 Secession and Reconstruction. 

In all the long career of Mr. Moore, as a lawyer, a states- 
man, or as a private citizen, there is probably nothing 
which brings out the true character of the man so well as 
the course he chose to pursue during the days of secession 
and reconstruction. He was by conviction a Federalist, 
both in politics and in the construction, which, as a lawyer, 
he placed upon the Constitution of the United States, and 
when the question of secession arose he declared himself 
unalterably opposed to it. For his views he was bitterly 
denounced by some, but few then stopped to consider, and 
fewer still recognized, the true motive which prompted him 
in taking such a course. 

Viewed in the light of the then existing circumstances, 
it was indeed a bold step, and one fraught with the most 
serious consequences, especially to a man in the high posi- 
tion to which Mr. Moore had attained. He was then, and 
had been for many years, looked upon as one of the best, if 
not the best, lawyers in the State. His brief in the cele- 
brated case of the State vs. Will, which, when decided, 
settled then and forever afterwards the true relations be- 
tween master and slave in lN"orth Carolina, stood then, as 
it probably does until this day, as the greatest piece of 
legal argument ever produced in the State. The revision 
of the statute law of the State, which was entirely under 
his supervision, and a great deal of it his individual labor, 
was looked upon by the ablest critics as a work of marked 
ability. Had he espoused the cause of secession, no man 
would have stood higher among the leaders than he. But 
fortunately Mr. Moore was prompted by higher and nobler 
motives than the mere mercenary, and although deserted 
by friends and colleagues, he remained true to his honest 
convictions and unhesitatingly declared his opinion when- 
ever and wherever the opportunity presented. 

Mr. Moore was not blind to the fact that the South had 
grounds for complaint, as he says in a letter to his daugh- 
ter : " I would not impress upon you that the South has no 

Historical Papers. 77 

cause of complaint She lias many, but if for such cause 
a people may quit their alliances, then there can be no 
durable union." 

To him there could be no reliable liberty of the State 
without the union of the States. He was a close student 
of the Constitution of the United States and thoroughly 
understood the principles upon which it was founded. He 
plainly foresaw the almost inevitable results of a union of 
the Southern States based upon the principle which 
prompted secession. A nation composed of States whose 
union was optional, and necessarily weak, could only come 
to confusion and ruin. 

Probably his own words can give us the best idea of how 
he looked upon the matter. In his will he says : "I was 
unable, under my conviction of the solemn duties of 
patriotism, to give any excuse for, or countenance to, the 
civil war of 1861, without sacrificing all self-respect. My 
judgment was the instructor of my conscience, and no man 
suffered greater misery than did I, as the scenes of battle 
unfolded the bloody carnage of war in the midst of our 
homes. I had been taught under the deep conviction of 
ray judgment that there could be no reliable liberty of my 
State without the union of the States, and being devoted 
to my State, I felt that I should desert her whenever I 
should aid to destroy the Union. I could not imagine a 
more terrible spectacle than that of beholding the sun 
shining upon the broken and dishonored fragments of 
States dissolved, discordant and belligerent, and on a land 
rent with civil feuds and drenched in fraternal blood. 
With this horrible picture of anarchy and blood looming 
up before my eyes, I could not, as a patriot, consent to 
welcome its approach to 'my own, my native land, ? and 
truly was I happy when I saw the sun of peace rising with 
the glorious promise to shine once more on States equal, 
free, honored and united." 

There have been few, if any, of our great men who have 

78 Secession and Reconstruction. 

placed a higher estimate upon a good government, and a 
free and contented people, than did Mr. Moore. He hesi- 
tated at no obstacle, it matters not how great, when the 
purity of the government was at stake. In a letter to his 
daughter he says: "I have written, my dear child, more 
on politics than I intended, but how can I help it, when I 
regard our country as the best inheritance I can leave to 
my children ; of far greater value than all my property, if 
that might be preserved in the general wreck of the finan- 
cial affairs of the day. ' ' 

Never did Mr. Moore show the honesty of his purpose, 
and the true love he felt for North Carolina better or to 
more effect than in the service which he rendered in the 
utter confusion which followed immediately upon the sur- 
render. Time had proved the correctness of his views, and 
now when the days of reconstruction began he came for- 
ward as the leader in restoring North Carolina to her for- 
mer position in the Union, which he had fought so hard 
for her to maintain. On account of his position in regard 
to secession, the Federal authorities sought his advice. 
Just after the close of the war President Johnson invited 
Mr. Moore to come to Washington to join in a consulta- 
tion in regard to the taking of North Carolina back into 
the Union. He advised that she should at once be recog- 
nized with only such changes in her constitution as were 
necessary to make it better conform to the changed state 
of affairs. These changes he said the people should be 
allowed to make themselves and in their accustomed way. 
Mr. Moore's advice was not heeded, but it did not cause 
him for a moment to cease his efforts in his State's behalf. 

When the Constitutional Convention was called by Pres- 
ident Johnson, Mr. Moore was a prominent member and 
warmly supported the adoption of every measure which 
tended to place North Carolina in what he conceived was 
her proper place in the Union. His ambition was that she 
should not have her privileges curtailed,but should stand on 

Historical Papers. 79 

an equal footing with any State in the Union. Although 
he believed in the freedom of the slaves, yet he was bit- 
terly opposed to negro suffrage and vigorously fought 
against it. He realized that the ignorant negroes had no 
idea of self-government, and to place the ballot in their 
hands meant no end of trouble for the whites of the South. 
Military rule was alike obnoxious in his sight. The pres- 
ence of Federal soldiers to enforce laws was in direct oppo- 
sition to what he considered the rights of North Carolin- 
ians to govern themselves. 

Mr. Moore had little respect for the constitution of 1868, 
which was drawn up by a convention acting under the 
orders of General Canby, and which is now generally 
known as the ;i Canby Constitution.' ? 

In a letter dated March 28, 1868, he says : " It is in my 
view, with some exceptions, a wretched basis to secure 
liberty or property. The legislative authority rests upon 
ignorance without a single check except senatorial age 
against legislative plunder by exorbitant taxation/' Fur- 
ther on in the same letter he says again: ''The Radical 
party purposes to fill our Congressional representation with 
those men recently introduced from other quarters of the 
United States, and to impose them upon us through the 
instrumentality and league of the ignorance of the State, 
nor have they stopped there — they have proposed for the 
administration of justice in our Superior Courts men whose 
knowledge of law is contemptible and far below the 
requirements of a decent County Court lawyer. The party 
has had no regard, unless where they thought they would 
increase their strength, for the selection of a single mau of 
worth or intelligence for any office, however high might be 
the qualifications demanded for it." 

Soon after the adoption of the Canby constitution polit- 
ical excitement in North Carolina became very intense, and 
certain judges of the Supreme Court openly engaged in 
the canvass. Against this Mr. Moore felt that something 

80 Secession and Reconstruction. 

should be done to preserve the purity of the court. He 
was the oldest member of the bar and naturally felt that 
he should take the lead in the matter. Accordingly he 
drew up and had published in the Daily Sentinel of April 
19, 1869, the following article, entitled: ''A Solemn Pro- 
test of the Bar of North Carolina Against Judicial Inter- 
ference in Political Affairs." "The undersigned present, 
or former, members of the bar of North Carolina, have 
witnessed the late public demonstrations of political par- 
tizanshix> by the judges of the Supreme Court of the State 
with profound regret and unfeigned alarm for the purity 
of the future administration of the laws of the land. 
Active and open participation in the strife of political 
contests by any judge of the State, so far as we recollect, 
or tradition or history has informed us, was unknown to 
the people until the late exhibitions. To say that these 
were unexpected, and a prediction of them by the wisest 
among us would have been spurned as incredible, would 
not express half of our astonishment or the painful shock 
suffered by our feelings when we savv the humiliating fact 
accomplished. Not only did we not anticipate it. but we 
thought it was impossible to be done in our day. Many of 
us have passed through political times almost as excited as 
those of to-day: and most of us. recently, through one 
more excited ; but, never before have we seen the judges 
of the Supreme Court, singly or en masse, move from that 
becoming propriety so indispensable to secure the respect 
of the people, and, throwing aside the ermine, rush into 
the mad contest of politics under the excitement of drums 
and flags. From the unerring lessons of the past we are 
assured that a judge who openly and publicly displays his 
political party zeal renders himself unlit to hold the ; bal- 
ance of justice,- and whenever an occasion may offer to 
serve his fellow-partizans he will yield to the temptation, 
and the * wavering balance' will shake. 

"It is a natural weakness in man that he who warmly 

Historical Papers. 81 

and publicly identifies himself with a political party will 
be tempted to uphold the party which upholds him, and 
all experience teaches us that a partizan judge cannot be 
safely trusted to settle the great principles of a political 
constitution, while he reads and studies the book of its 
laws under the banners of a party. 

"Unwilling that our silence should be construed into an 
indifference to the humiliating spectacle now passing around 
us; influenced solely by a spirit of love and veneration for 
the past purity which has distinguished the administration 
of law in our State, and animated by the hope that the 
voice of the bar of North Carolina will not be powerless to 
avert the pernicious example which we have denounced, 
and to repress its contagious influence, we have under a 
sense of solemn duty subscribed and published this paper." 

The above article was signed by one hundred and eight 
prominent attorneys, which was about one-fifth of the 
entire number in the State at that time. The matter was 
taken up at once by the Supreme Court and the famous 
"contempt proceedings " begun. Chief Justice Pearson 
issued orders that those lawyers whose names were signed 
to the article should hereafter be debarred from further 
practice in the courts unless they should appear before him 
and show cause to the contrary. To save expense and 
shorten matters notice was served on only three of the 
attorneys, Messrs. Moore, Bragg and Haywood. When 
answer to the charge was made, Messrs. Battle, Person, 
Fowle and Barnes appeared for the defendants. No denial 
of writing and publishing the article was made by the 
defendants, but they did disavow any intention of com- 
mitting contempt or of doing injury to the court. On the 
other hand they declared their purpose was to preserve the 
purity of the court and protect the administration of jus- 
tice. Judge Pearson gave quite an elaborate opinion on 
the case, strongly implying the guilt of the parties accused, 
but decided under the law which grants the accused the 

82 Secession and Reconstruction. 

privilege of coming into court and purging himself by 
pleading a disavowal of any intention to commit contempt. 
Their disavowal, coming within the rule, they were excused, 
but not acquitted. 

The court seemed glad to let the matter go as it did, and 
well it might. The rebuke was merited, and the court has 
never recovered from its effect. 

Xo one can doubt the honesty of Mr. Moore's motives 
in administering this reproof, and although he came out of 
the contest victorious, the whole matter was a source of 
the deej)est regret to him. He says in a letter to his daugh- 
ter: " While I rejoice that my course is sustained by all 
the virtuous and sensible, yet I weep over the degradation 
into which the court has plunged itself and the liberties of 
freemen. I had no purpose to degrade the court ; God 
knows that my only object was to purify and elevate it. 
The conduct of individuals composing the court was unbe- 
coming the judges according to my judgment, founded 
upon all the past examples of the enlightened men who 
had adorned our annals. 1 saw that if such conduct should 
be tolerated and become common, the judiciary would sink 
into partizan political corruption. I felt it my duty, as 
the oldest member of the bar, to lift my wavering voice 
against the pernicious example. I did so as an act of duty. 
I feel now still more sensibly that it was my duty." 

This one act was probably the greatest single service ever 
rendered by any man in our State in the cause of the 
administration of justice. The same spirit of bold oppo- 
sition to what he considered harmful to the State, which 
characterized Mr. Moore's course during the days of seces- 
sion and reconstruction, is seen throughout his entire life. 
And whatever may be said of him along other lines, he 
certainly stood as an unselfish protector of the people's 
interests, displaying in his actions a foresight and sound 
judgment displayed by few. 

J. P. Gibbons. 

Historical Papers. 83 


North Carolina has contributed much to the history of 
other States. Many of our promising youths have gone to 
add their lives and talents to increasing the honor rolls of 
other sections of the Union. Upon all such she looks with 
pride and pleasure. But she is not willing that all the honor 
coming from such lives be claimed by the States of their 
adoption. It is a circumstance of no small consideration for 
one to have been a true, native North Carolinian. There is 
a solidity and strength of character in the general tenor of 
our good old State that will make itself felt wherever you 
find it. The mother takes some credit to herself for the 
achievements of her sons. 

One life we should not fail to lay great claims to is that of 
Jacob Thompson, a native North Carolinian, who gave his 
life work to the State of Mississippi. He served twelve years 
as Congressman from that State during one of the most trying 
periods of the Nation's history, and filled the office of Secre- 
tary of Interior in the cabinet of James Buchanan. He was 
one of the strongest men oi his time and exerted a powerful 
influence in the Nation's capital in the days when Webster, 
Clay, and Calhoun were crossing swords in the Senatorial 
arena. His life is worth considering. 

He was born in the beautiful little village ot Leasburg, in 
Caswell county, North Carolina, in 1810. His father was 
Nicholas Thompson, who moved from Orange county and 
settled in Leasburg about 1801. He was of Scottish descent, 
and inherited much of the energy and fortitude inherent in 
the people of the land of Bruce and Wallace. He accumu- 
lated a large fortune by farming, tanning leather, and harness 
making. He was thoroughly honest and upright in all his 
dealings. It is a fact worthy of notice, that in tracing the 
ancestors of Jacob Thompson back for several generations, we 
find them remarkable for their integrity and fidelity to prin- 

84 The Life of Jacob Thompson. 

The wife of Nicholas Thompson was Lucretia Vanhook, 
daughter of Jacob Vanhook, a Revolutionary soldier, and a 
man of considerable influence. Eight children were the 
result of this union, six boys and two girls. The boys' names 
were, Joseph Sidney, James Young, Jacob, John, William, 
and George Nicholas; the girls were Ann and Sarah. Of 
this number, only two are now living, — William Thompson, 
an influential lawyer of Oxford, Mississippi, and Mrs. Sarah 
M. Lewis, of College Hall, in the same State. Joseph Sid- 
ney, the eldest, was for some time a successful merchant of 
Leasburg. He died several years ago. James Young, and 
John were both prominent physicians of Mississippi. Ann 
became the wife of Yancey Wiley, a nephew of Bartlett Yan- 
cey, Caswell's distinguished statesman. These two, Mr. and 
Mrs. Wiley, also made Mississippi their home. The young- 
est son, George Nicholas, became a lawyer, settled in Leas- 
burg, and rose to be a leader in the politics of Caswell county. 

The subject of this sketch early showed the qualities that 
added so much to his name in after life. He was a bright, 
energetic, industrious boy, noted for his remarkable will 
power. He was prepared for college at the Hawfield school 
in Orange county, and he entered the University of North 
Carolina in his seventeenth year. He graduated in 1831, 
and received the first honors of his class. On the day of his 
graduation he was appointed one of the tutors of the college. 
While in college he was converted and for some time thought 
seriously of entering the active ministry of the M. E. Church, 
South. Finally, however, he decided to be a lawyer, and 
after eighteen months' efficient work as a teacher, he resigned 
his position and began the study of law under Judge John M. 
Dick, of Greensboro. In eighteen months he received license 
to practice in the Inferior Courts of the State, and in 1835 he 
was admitted attorney and counsellor-at-law in the Superior 
Courts of the State. 

At this time Mississippi, with its vast, undeveloped re- 
sources, was a tempting field for strong, ambitious young 

Historical Papers. 85 

manhood. Thompson was attracted by it and soon left his 
native State for this rapidly advancing section of the Great 
Valley. At the advice of his brother he settled at Pontotoc. 
The Chickasaw Indians had just ceded the beautiful section 
around Pontotoc to the government. Owing to the convey- 
ance of lands a great deal of business was required of lawyers 
in that section. Young Thompson threw all his tireless, 
well-equipped force into the work, and soon rose in popu- 
larity and influence. He; made money fast. 

But his friends would not let him keep out of politics. 
The community soon became divided on the question as to 
whether the State should endorse the Union Bank bonds for 
$5,000,000 or not. The first political speech ever made by 
Mr. Thompson was at a meeting held at Pontotoc for the 
purpose of favoring that policy and instructing the represent- 
atives in the Legislature to vote for the endorsement. 
Thompson opposed the resolution in a strong and able 
speech which attracted attention throughout the State. He 
denounced the banking mania which was running riot over 
f Mississippi, and predicted that the sequence would be over- 

whelming ruin and universal bankruptcy. The resolutions 
were adopted, however, but in a short time the whole State 
had serious cause to regret that Thompson's warning had not 
been heeded. 

After this he was pressed into political service. In 1837 
he was nominated candidate for the Attorney-Generalship of 
his State on the Democratic ticket. He was defeated by a 
small majority, but in all sections where he was known he 
received an almost unanimous vote. About this time banks 
were suspended all over the Nation and the Democratic party 
seemed to fall into despair, especially in Mississippi. 

Under those circumstances Thompson was nominated for 
Congress in 1839. ^ e was quite young for such a position, 
but he made an exceptionally strong canvass and was elected 
by a handsome majority. For twelve successive years he 
served his State in this capacity, doing valuable work for 
Mississippi and for the country at large. 

86 The Life of Jacob Thompson. 

His talents and good qualities were recognized soon after 
he took his seat In 1S41 his second nomination for Congress 
was made. About that time the Union Bank became utterly 
bankrupt. The bonds of the Bank which the State had 
endorsed, and on which the Bank had raised capital to run 
its career, had been dishonored and the State was called upon 
to renew its endorsement. The Governor had refused pay- 
ment on the ground that the State was not legally or morally 
bound, and an appeal was made to the people. Mr. Thomp- 
son was called upon for his views. He supported the Governor 
in his refusal in a letter setting forth the position so clearly 
that his views were accepted by the people and were adopted 
by the Legislature of the State. During the ensuing session 
of Congress offensive allusion was made on the floor of the 
House to Mississippi's action in the matter. Mr. Thompson, 
without any previous preparation, championed the cause of 
his State in a strong, masterful effort that put a stop to all 
sneers. This speech is before me and I find it interesting 
and full of sound reasoning. I cannot give a fair synopsis of 
it, and will not attempt it. It is the voice of a true states- 
man and of a great man. Among other things Mr. Thomp- 
son condemns the idea of a State or Nation contracting a debt 
by issuing bonds for loans. He holds that in times of peace 
no government should contract a permanent debt. He did 
not believe in giving capitalists and brokers a hold on the 
Treasury of State or Nation. He also made an eloquent 
defense of Mississippi's action in not sustaining the bonds. 
I should like to quote passages of this address, but space is 
not sufficient. 

When the convention of 1844 met, the question of the 
annexation of Texas was the most prominent issue. As is 
well known, Henry Clay, on account of his honest opposition 
to annexation, failed to get the nomination, and James K. 
Polk was nominated. Jacob Thompson did much toward 
securing this nomination. He aided Robt. J. Walker in 
writing the celebrated letter which made annexation the issue 

Historical Papers. 87 

of the campaign. When Polk was elected he informed 
Walker that he could not offer him any cabinet position, 
except that of Attorney-General. Walker wanted a higher 
place and appealed to Thompson to use his influence toward 
getting it for him. Thompson influenced Polk to make 
Walkei Secretary of the Treasury. When Walker heard of 
it, he exclaimed: il Oh, Thompson, you are my best friend! 
Your zeal and firmness have saved me. I can never, never 
forget you." I will mention in passing that Walker proved 
to be an unprincipled office-seeker and basely ungrateful to 

When the Mississippi Democratic Convention met in 1851, 
Mr. Thompson requested them to nominate some other man 
for Congress. He had for some time been desirous of retiring 
to private life and spending the remainder of his days among 
the quiet and peaceful scenes of his charming home. But 
when the convention looked for a candidate to fill his place, 
no agreement could be made, and Thompson was petitioned 
to become a candidate a^ain. He at last consented. In this 
election, he was defeated on account of the weakness tf his 
colleagues. He attempted to carry the whole district for his 
party and lost his own election. 

For some time he had been regarded as one of the Father's 
of the House. His opinions were eagerly sought by his asso- 
ciates. I quote the following estimate from one well acquainted 
with his character : u Cautious and deliberate in taking all 
positions on all new issues, pet firm and resolute in main- 
taining them, he was ever consistent and became a leader on 
whom the most implicit reliance could be placed. Always 
prudent, yet firm and determined, sure of his position and 
well able to defend it, no constituency was ever served with 
more fidelity, honesty and efficiency, and none ever trusted 
a representative with more constancy and confidence." He 
was often weighed in the balance but never found wanting. 
In 1852, Mr. Thompson became a delegate to the Baltimore 
convention and contributed as much, and perhaps more than 

88 The Life of Jacob Thompson. 

any other one of its member, to the nomination of Franklin 
Pierce for the Presidency. After the election, President 
Pierce tendered Mr. Thompson the Consulship to Cuba but 
he respectfully declined the honor. 

Soon after this, Mr. Thompson was strongly considered for 
the Senatorship from Mississippi, though Col. Jeff. Davis 
was finally selected. 

In 1856, Mr. Thompson supported James Buchanan in the 
Presidential Convention. After the election, he was invited 
to take charge of the Department of the Interior in Mr. Buch- 
anan's Cabinet. This he accepted and entered on his duties 
March, 1857* He found the Department a mere aggregation 
of bureaus, working entirely without concert, and the Sec- 
retary a mere figure head. With his old time energy, he 
went to work and infused new life into every department, 
united all the business under one head, himself the director. 
The department grew in favor and popularity with the whole 
country. The business transacted by it was enormous. The 
volumes of the decisions of Secretary Thompson in law cases 
alone, were larger than those of the Attorney General. 

During this administration, the treachery of one of the 
clerks of the Department of the Interior caused much adverse 
and very unjust criticism of the worthy Secretary. An inves- 
tigation was made by Mr. Thompson's politial opponents to 
find out the truth and it was soon found that he was innocent 
of any of the charges his enemies had heaped upon him. 

When the Civil War had broke out, Mr. Thompson volun- 
teered his services. He went into active service and held 
several important positions during his stay in the army. He 
gave valuable assistance to General Pemberton around 
Vicksburg. He retired in 1863 to serve in the Legislature of 
his State. 

Soon, however, there came a telegram from President Davis, 
calling him to Richmond. The President had heard that 
several thousands of people in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, 
were weary of the war and %vere ready to take up arms and 

Historical Papkrs. 80 

demand of the United States' Government a cessation of hos- 
tilities. The Confederate Congress had voted an appropria- 
tion toward arming these people, and directed President Davis 
to send one of our most discreet and reliable citizens to Can- 
ada, to confer with those who sympathised with the Confeder- 
acy and were willing to aid in bringing the war to a close. 
This was a secret mission and one liable to subject the 
ambassador to slander and misrepresentation by the unscru- 
pulous. Mr. Thompson hesitated before accepting it. But 
he felt it his duty to serve his country in any honorable way 
possible, aud finally accepted. Accompanied by C. C. Clay 
and W. W. Clery, he ran the blockade at Wilmington, N. C, 
and sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia ; from thence he went to 
a point south-w T est of Montreal where he could confer with 
the people of the States mentioned above. His experience 
here read like a romance. Nothing of value, however could 
be accomplished and he ordered the escaped Confederates 
under his charge to return home. These were panting for 
revenge,. and, going contrary to Thompson's order, made a 
rade on the town of St. xAlbans, in Vermont. For this deed 
committed by a band of unruly, revengeful prisoners, Mr. 
Thompson w r as called an incendiary by the press of the time. 
He made no defense whatever, but w r aited for time to reveal 
the right. He was soon cleared of all such base accusations. 
While Thompson was on his way to Halifax from Montreal, 
President Lincoln was assassinated. Then one of the most 
unpardonable plots was conceived by certain authorities in 
Washington City. They decided to charge the President of 
the Confederacy and his commissioners in Canada with delib- 
erately planning this terrible crime. Perjured testimony was 
obtained by bribery. A proclamation was issued offereing a 
large reward for the arrest of Jefferson Davis, Jacob Thomp- 
son, Clement C. Clav, and others. A friend told me recently 
that he saw a copy of a tblegram in the Historical Collection 
of the Johns Hopkins University, which reads : "Arrest Jacob 
Thompson. ' ' This tells the tale. 


90 The Life of Jacob Thompson. 

When Thotnpsou heard of this his first impression was to 
present himself at Washington City, and demand a trial. His 
frsends fearing that justice would not be done him by the 
authorities in power persuaded him not to do this. 

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Thompson had served in Congress 
together and had formed there a true and lasting friendship. 
Each admired and respected the manly qualities of the other. 
Thompson recognized in Lincoln a real friend and not an 
enemy of the Southland, and instead of rejoicing at the assas- 
sination of the President, he mourned it as a public calamity 
and a private sorrow. Only a short while befote the assassin- 
ation, Thompson had been recognized by some Federal author- 
ities in Portland, Maine, where he was seking a vessel on 
which to escape from the country. The Secretary of War 
was about to issue an order for his arrest, Mr. Lincoln hear- 
ing of this, only a few hours before his assassination, suspended 
the issuing of the order and expressed a wish that Thomp- 
son be allowed to leave the country unmolested. This shows 
the relations existing between them. It is needless to add 
that subsequent history has obliterated the envious calumny. 

Mr. Thompson and his family soon sailed for Europe where 
they spent several years before returning to their homes in 
Oxford, Miss. 

Soon after going to Mississippi he had been married to Miss 
Catharine Jones, the only daugher of Paton Jones, a very 
wealthy and prominent man. Mrs. Thompson was a lovely 
woman, possessing fine taste and judgment. She was a favor- 
ite of society in Washington, and made the home of her 
husband the favorite resort of Senators and Representatives. 
Between her and her husband the utmost harmony and con- 
fidence existed. 

Their only son, Caswell Macon, married a Miss Fox, and 
died leaving a widow and two little girls to be cared for by 
his parents. One of these grand-children is Mrs. Van Leer 
Kirkman, the beautiful and accomplished Lady Manager of 
Nashville Exposition of 1897. Her picture appeared in Mun- 
sey s Magazine, a few months ago. 

Historical Papers. 91 

In private as well as public life, Jacob Thompson bore him- 
self as a man of high character. One says of him : ■ 'He- 
was a dear, good man, an excellent friend, sympathetic in 
nature, kind and generous. t u1 manner dignified, command- 
ing respect. He was remarkable in being never overbearing 
to inferiors." He was a very successful business man, and 
managed a large plantation with large profit to himsef. He 
often loaned monev but never charged interest. He did not 
believe in charging interest. 

I will close as I began, that North Carolina will do well to 
lay some claim to the achievements of her distinguished son. 
His life reflects credit on his mother State, on his adopted 
State, and the nation at large. The best that can be said of 
him is that he was a man brave and true. In all his remark - 
able and chequered existence, he never sold his birth-right. 
In this age, when the forms ot the demagogue and unprinci- 
pled office-seeker are so clearly outlined on our political sky, 
it is refreshing to turn and gaze on one who knew what it 
meant to be a true citizen of his country. 

J. F. Bivins. 

92 Book Noti* es. 

booz x^rorrioEs. 


Robert E. Lee and the Southern Confederacy . By Henry Alexander White. 
Heroes of the Nation's .Series. (New Vork: G. P. PuLnaui*s Sons. 1897. 
Pp. xiv, 467.) Here is a good military life of General Lee, and a clear view 
of the Civil War from the Southern standpoint. The strong points of the 
work are clearness, force, sustained interest, directness, and elevated ideas. 
Lee is painted as the hero, and yet the narrative is not weakened by that 
provincial tone of self-confidence that often appears in books by Southerners 
about their own prominent men or about their own history. Back of Lee 
the soldier is Lee the man. In Dr. Worth's treatment of this side of his 
subject is seen the charm peculiar to Virginia breeding which writers like 
Thomas Nelson Page, and Dr. Woodrow Wilson in his Washington have 
made familiar to many readers. This book is noteworthy for another reason: 
It is a triumph of reconciliation and union to put a life of Lee in the 
Heroes of the Nation's Series. Its contemporary appearance with the life 
of General Grant means much. Both of these men are real American heroes 
and we of the South feel that Grant is as much ours as him whom we love 
the more only because he suffered with us the more — and whom we shall 
always revere as "Marse Robert." White's Life of Lee should be read by 
all Americans. 

American History Told by Contemporaries. Edited by Albert Bushuell 
Hart. Vol. r. Era of Colonization, 1492-1689. 1 New York: Macmillan Co. 
1897. Pp. xviii, 606). Here is undoubtedly a book that has been a long 
time needed. No teacher of History needs to be told that the best way to 
bring the life of the past into the minds of his students is by making those 
students go through the closest records of the people of the past. Such 
records should be original in the strictest sense. They should convey living 
impressions of conditions at that time. After a student has learned the out- 
line of historical development his best work will be to master through the 
use of the records the same held taking up nation after nation. If time 
should be wanting one nation carefully studied in this way will be worth 
more than three nations skimmed through. lu the selection of Prof. Hart's 
extracts much care has usually been shown; but the space assigned to North 
Carolina willnot satisfy Norlh Carolinians. It could have been wished that 
the Fundamental Constitutions had been omitted, since they reflect in the 
slightest sense ?nv real life in the colony. When will historians cease to make 
this document the back-bone of our colonial history ? For a glimpse of reaj 
conditions any of the letters of the governors, or the court records, which 
abound in the North Carolina Colonial Records, would have been more valua. 
ble. It ought to be added, however, that the selections of extracts in reference 

Book Notices. 93 

to other Colonies seems to have been more wisely made. The selection in 
our own case is due no doubt, to the gross lack of sufficient interest in our 
own history by our own people. On the whole. Prof. Hart's work is of the 
greatest importance. Many teachers of American History must only await 
the completion of the series before making it a required parallel in their 

The Church and Private Schools of North Carolina. By Charles Lee 
Raper. ^Greensboro, N. C: Jos. J. Stone. 1H98. Pp 247). This note- 
worthy book contains sketches of sixty-five of the leading church aud private 
schools that have been founded in this State. It was desirable that this 
story should have been toid. The author has told it in a direct, nervous 
manner, not devoid of interest He has displayed much industry and patience 
He has omitted some local high schools, especially in the Eastern part of 
the State. Many people will be disappointed because of the omission of 
Davis School. Possibly the system of preparatory schools established under 
the auspices of Trinity College should have been discussed. The hr9t half 

f of the book is better done than the latter half. It shows more deliberation. 

The latter part is not free from inaccuracies. For example, it is said (p. 197) 
that at the last sessions of the Methodist Conferences "It was decided to intro- 
duce a preparatory department [at Trinity College] beginning with the fall of 
189S." This is not true. In another place (p. 190) I find this: '"Seventy-five 
thousand dollars would have erected all the buildings the institution needed, 
or will ever need." But few who understand the conditions at Trinity would 
limit the development of the institution in the future to so small a plant. In 
speaking of the failure to get information from Littleton Female College the 
author says(pp. 240-1): "The writer has again and again written to President 
Rhodes for information, but with one exception he has shown his supreme 
indifference. He is either ashamed of the record he has made tor his school 

Ior has a queer idea of common courtesy." Mr. Raper had a right to say 
why he had no information about Littleton; but he had no right to say it in 
a spirit so childishly petulent. These small points show a lack of that 
restrained judgment which is necessary to proper dignity and reliable state- 
ment in historical work. However, Mr. Raper's work has much merit and 
must be pronounced an important book in a field where almost nothing has 
been done. It is to be hoped that the author's future work may be free from 
such faults of historical style as these. 

94 A D V E BTIS EM K N'TS . 



Trinity College Historical Society. 


Frontispiece— Edward Graham Daves. 

Fort Haraby on the Yadkin —Robt. L. Flowers, 

Origin and Development of the Ku Klux Klan — Sanders Dent. 

Raleigh's New Fort in Virginia -Edward Graham Daves. 

Francis Lister Hawks— Sanders Dent. 

A Ku Klux Raid and What Came of It— W. H. Pegrarn. 

The North Carolina Manumission Society — C. C. Weaver. 

John S. Cairnes, Ornithologist— W. K. Boyd. 

Book Notices— John S. Bassett. 

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Neutrality of the American Lakes and Anglo-American Relations. By J. 
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West Florida in Its Relation to the Historical Cartography of the United 
States. By H E. Chambers. 

Anti-Slavery Leaders of North Carolina. By J. S. Bassett. 

Life and Administration of Sir Robert Eden. By B. C. Steiner. 

The Transition of North Carolina from a Colony to a State. By E. W. 

History of State Banking in Maryland. By A. C. Bryan. 

Maryland and Virginia Boundary Controversy. By L. N. Whealton. 

Labadist Colony in Maryland. By B. B. James. 

Early Development of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Project. By G. W. 

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A complete list of these Studies wiil be sent on application. 

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historical papers. 


Published by the Historical Society of Trinity College, 



Under the Supervision of the Department of History. 



John Joseph Bruner— Prof. R. L. Flowers 1 

Diary of a Confederate Refugee— J. A. Sharpe 8 

Robert Henry's Narrative 16 

King's Mountain Expedition— David Vance and Robert Henry . . 24 & 78 

Historic Points on the Cape Fear— F, T. Willis 36 

William W. Eolden— W. K. Boyd. 

Part I, 1818-1855 39 

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Part V, Suppression of the Ku Klux 117 


There are many typographical errors in these articles, due to the negli- 
gence of the proof-reader, and for which the publisher of these Papers is 
not responsible. The most serious are as follows : 

Page 43, second paragraph, read teachings for backings. 

Page 55, read Cantwell for Cantley. 

Page 75, second paragraph is by the author, not a quotation. It should 
be preceded by 

II— Cavalry Depravations. 

Page 128, read old aristocracy for only aristocracy, 

N. B. — Under the arrangement with the Trinity Archive by which these 
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IDistorical papers. 




To write anything like an extended and accurate sketch 
of the lives of the men who were prominent in journalism 
in this State during the first half of the century, and also 
during the period of war, and the days of the reconstruc- 
tion would be to write a history of the progress of the 
State. It is very probable that no other class of men had 
a greater influence upon public sentiment. It is the object 
in this sketch to deal very briefly with the life of one of the 
veteran editors, one who for more than half a century ex- 
erted a wide influence upon the life of the State, and 
especially of the western portion of it — Mr. J. J. Bruner, 
editor of the Carolina Watchman. If time permitted, it 
might be interesting to picture somewhat the condition of 
the State during the first half of the century, politically 
and socially, and to write solely the editorial life of a jour- 
nalist would require this. An examination of the files of 
the Watchman during the time of Mr. Bruner s connection 
with it would reveal great changes in the conditions of the 
country. When the Watcftman was started there was not 
a single daily paper in the State, and no paper published in 
the State west of Salisbury. The Watchman of 1S40. con- 
tains an advertisement of the "Great Western Stage Line'' 
leaving Salisbury at 5 o'clock, a. m., one day, and arriving 
at Asheville at 8 p. m., the next, a journey of 39 hours, 
which for "speed could not be surpassed." The advertise- 

2 John Joseph Bruner. 

merit included a picture of the stage coach and horses. A 
few years later, great improvement was made and now the 
paper contains a picture of the engine and coaches used on 
the North Carolina Kailroad, and the schedule shows that 
the public could travel at the incredible speed of ten miles 
an hour. "Many people were afraid to ride at this rapid 
transit.' ' These pictures are reproduced in Dowd's Life of 
Prominent Living North Carolinians" given there for the 
reason they are referred to in this paper, to show somewhat 
the differences in the condition of an editor then and now. 
There were no telegraphic dispatches and the circumstances 
which confronted an editor w r ere very different from those 
of this day of rapid transit, and telegraphic news. 

Mr. Bruner died in 1890, being at the time the oldest 
editor in the State and the editor of the oldest paper. He 
belonged to the old school of editors, such as Edward J. 
Hall, ex-Governor Hoiden, Wm. J. Yates and others. 

The issue of the Watchman, of March 27, 1890, is a 
memorial number, and many of the points of this paper are 
taken from the extended article by Dr. J. Rumple, for 
many years his pastor, and still pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church of Salisbury. The writer said: "The Watchman 
to-day comes out without the name of J. J. Bruner, who for 
fifty-one years has shaped its course as associate editor, 
editor and proprietor, and it is due the public that the 
account of his life and labors should be published. It is 
impossible to estimate the influence such a man in such a 
position, and for such a length of time has exerted upon the 
thinking and action of his constituency. Of him one thing 
may be said, the Watchman never gave forth an uncertain 
sound, but faithfully and fearlessly watched over the 
interests of the people and administered the claims of 
justice and virtue, in high places and in low. The town 
and country have been benefitted, and not injured by his 
life, for it was his constant aim to do good." 

John Joseph Bruner was the son of Henry and Edith 

Historical Papers. 3 

Bruner, and was born on the Yadkin River, in Rowan 
county, 12th March 1817. When he was a little over 
two years old his father died and his mother returned with 
her children to the home of her father, Col. West Harris, 
of Montgomery county, North Carolina. His educational 
advantages were very meagre. In 1825, he was brought to 
Salisbury by Hon. Chas. Fisher, and his tirst year in his 
new home was spent in school, his teacher being Henry 
Allemand. When he had grown up, he attended school 
for a few months. The remainder of his education was 
due to his own efforts, and was received largely "at the 
case and press of a printing office." 

When he was nine years old he entered the printing 
office as an apprentice under Col. Philo White, editor of 
the Western Carolinian. 

Colonel. White sold the paper to Burton Craig in 1830, 
and it was edited by Mr. Craig until 1834, when the paper 
was bought by Maj. John Beard, of Florida. Mr. Bruner 
continued in the office until 1836. 

In 1832 the Watchman was started by Hamilton C. Jones, 
and in 1839, Mr. Bruner became a partner in the paper. 

The Watchman of October 1888, contains a history of 
the paper, written by the editor. It is written in a plain, 
unassuming style and in his own words gives a history of 
the paper better than any one else could do. 

"This number of the Watchman finishes the present 
volume of the paper and presents a fitting occasion to take 
a glance at the past history. 

The first copy of the Carolina Watchman was issued on 
July 28, 1832, by the late Hamilton C. Jones, Esq., as its 
editor and proprietor. The design of its establishment 
was to combat the nullif action movement of that time started 
in South Carolina under the inspiration of John C. Cal- 
houn and other distinguished Statesmen of the Common- 
wealth. The late Hon. Burton Craig, was the editor of the 
Western Carolinian, published in this place, and was a 

4 John Joseph Bruner. 

zealous advocate of the views Mr. Calhoun; and his vigor- 
ous editorials were producing a rousing influence in 
Western North Carolina, which alarmed Unionists and 
induced active opposition on their part to the spread of 
the violent remedy proposed by the South Carolina move- 
ment and the establishment of the Watcliman was the 
result. Mr. Jones continued to publish the paper for 
several years after the settlement of the exciting question 
which gave it birth, ending his connection with it on the 
28th July, 1839, by a sale and transfer of the printing 
office, subscription list and good- will to Mace C. Pendleton 
and J. J. Bruner. Under the firm name of Pendleton & 
Bruner, the paper was continued for three years, at the 
end of which time the Junior partner withdrew for the 
purpose of collecting a considerable amount due the firm, 
and paying off occumulated debts. This was accomplished 
in the course of eighteen months, during which time the 
paper was continued under the management of the late 
Mr. Pendleton as editor and proprietor. But rinding the 
business more difficult than he could well bear he sold out to 
J. J. Bruner, and the late SamuelW. James in January 1844. 
Under the rirm name of Bruner & James, the Watcliman 
had a successful run of six years, to July 28, 1850. Mi. 
James then sold his interest to the present proprietor and 
drew out, since which time there has been no change in the 
ownership of the office. 

Stoneman's raiders had possession of the office while 
here on the 12th and 13th April, 1865, and after printing 
an army news sheet, turned the office upside down, 
wrecked the principal press and destrowed all they well 
could. Upon the arrival of the Federal army after the 
surrender, the commander took possession of it, detailed 
printers from the army to gather up type enough to print 
a daily army news sheet, and held possession until about 
the 4th of July. When at last they turned over the shat- 
tered establishment to the owner, he commenced the work 

Historical Papers. 5 

of repairing it, which occupied him until January 8, 1866, 
at which time the publication of the Watchman was 
resumed. But it had only a brief run of eight weeks when 
the fire broke out in C. F. Baker's tin shop, ( February 
26) and extending to other buildings near by finally reached 

I the Watchman office and destroyed about half of the 

stock and reduced the paper to a half- sheet. In this form 
it was published for twenty-three weeks, until a new press 
and material could be obtained to issue a full sheet. 

On the 10th of January, 1868, the Watchman (as an 
experiment thought advisable at the time) was consolidated 
with the Old North State as was run under the name of 
Watchman and Old North State. [The Old North State 
was a weekly paper started here in 1866 by the Hon. Lewis 
Hanes.] This arrangement continued only one year when 
by an arrangement with Mr. Hanes in respect to the busi- 
ness of the office, the Watchman retired, leaving the entire 
field to Mr. Hanes, who in January 1869, changed the 
name and re-established the Old North State. Mr. Hanes 
continued to publish his paper in the Watchman office 
until the 15th of September 1871, (one year and nine 
months) and then sold out his interest, J. J. Bruner becom- 
ing the purchaser, who immediately re-established his old 
paper the Watchman, and has continued it without a break 
to the present day. 

Before the war the Watchman was a Whig paper, and 
remained so until Lincoln's proclamation came out, calling 
on the state for troops to coerce the seceding states. It 
was then devoted to the Confederate cause and zealously 
supported it during the war. After the war it most nat- 
urally took sides with the Conservative party, which 
embraced both old Whigs and old Democrats, and which 
after a while, dropped the name k 'Conservative'' and 
adopted "Democratic 1 ' as being more expressive of the 
political character of those ranging under it. 

Nearly all the white people of the South — without re- 

Q John Joseph Bruner. 

gard to the old party names before the war, united in 
forming the Democratic party after the war, and this paper 
had no other home to go to. 

The paper has been self-sustaining. It has had no other 
reliance than the patronage of the public, and it has 
been constantly devoted to what its editor believed to be 
the best interests of the people. It has doubtless erred at 
times in judgment. Certainly it has oifended individuals 
and parties, and had to sustain loss by it. But these 
were never of disturbing importance, but passed as a 
trilling ripple on the current of its onward way. It has 
had not less than fifty competitors since its commencement, 
and some of these very ably conducted — a few deliberately 
designed to supplant it. Its proprietor is profoundly sen- 
sible of the favor by which it has been sustained under 
every trial, and feels an increasing weight of obligation to 
make the paper acceptable to those who have stood by it 
through all the changes and vicissitudes of the past. 

Capt. S. A. Ashe, a man for many years prominent in 
journalism, in a letter to the writer, says : 

When I came to Raleigh to live Mr. Brtmer was living at Salisbury, and 
I met him only once or twice. My recollections of him are not so vivid as 
if our personal intercourse had been more intimate: but I recall— that he 
had my perfect respect, because of his integrity of character and high pur- 
poses in life. In addition, I remember that I entertained very kind, per- 
sonal sentiments towards him — and this because he himself was kindly in 
his disposition, (and also because, I think, he had ever been been of the 
same political faith as my father — an old line Democrat). 

As I now recall his editorials, they were noteworthy for their simplicity, 
clearness and precision of statement. 

As an editor, Mr. Bruner wielded a great influence throughout the North- 
western section of the state. His paper was almost the sole vehicle of 
political information throughout that region for years: and the esteem in 
which he was personally held invested his paper with an influence that 
otherwise would have been lacking- For many years he was a potent 
factor in state affairs, though he did not aspire to leadership and control. 
Indeed, my observation has been that when an editor seeks to realize am- 
bitions, he loses the iniluence that the public accords him while his effort* 
are regarded as being merely patriotic, not mingled with personal consid- 
erations. Mr. Bruner pursued the even tenor of his way, not seeking po- 
litical distinction, and so wore weU: to the last highly esteemed and justly 

Historical Papsks. 

Hon. Theo. Kluttz, of Salisbury, for many years a per- 
sonal friend of Mr. Bruner, writes : 

I knew Mr. Bruner well, and was a constant reader of the "Watchman*' 
for many years. He was a man of sterling worth, and was possessed of 
the highest moral courage. As an editor, be belonged to the eld fashioned 
school of which the elder Hale, and Mr. Yates, of the Charlotte Democrat, 
were bright exemplars. Under his control, the Watchman was always 
carefully, conscientiously, and cleanly edited. While neither a profound 
nor a voluminous editorial writer, he had positive views and convictions on 
all important subjects, and these he never failed to present fearlessly, 
tersely, and interestingly. There was never any doubt where he stood, nor 
was there ever any doubt about the absolute honesty of his convictions. 
For many and many a year, his editorial utterances shaped and voiced the 
political feeling and action of his subscribers. Modest, unassuming, usu- 
ally busily engaged upon the mechanical make-up of his paper, in which 
he took great pride, he yet had the courage of his convictions, and every 
disposition to stand by them, as occasional dissentients found to their 

He served his day and generation well. 

I should like to give extracts frcm many papers after 
his death, showing the high esteem in which he was held 
by his associates in journalism, but this paper is already 
too long. I shall close by giving an extract from the 
paper read by Mr. Jerome Dowd, Historian of the Press 
of North Carolina, at the annual meeting in Durham in 

The moral tone of the Watchman was always good. A self educated 
man, Mr. Bruner was wanting in the versatility and rhetorical powers that 
go to make up the brilliant editor, but his teachings were sound, and he 
always expressed himself with clearness and force. He was a man of 
courage and stability. In his private walks he was an exemplary man, a 
devout christian, and an upright, modest citizen. His life was one long 
day of trial and struggling. What little schooling he had was paid for out 
of his own earnings. Although journalism in North Carolina ha3 never 
been very remunerative, Mr. Bruner made a success of his paper, and at 
one time had accumulated a considerable amount of property, but the war 
swept most of it away. Considering his environments, we cannot but pro- 
nounce his work in life well done Few men in the history of North Caro- 
lina have accomplished as much with such poor advantages. Beginning 
the battle of life at the age of nine years, without money or the protecting 
arm of a father, he grew up to be as a "banyan of the forest, yielding shade 
and fruit to wide neighborhoods of men." 

8 The Diary of a Confederate Refugee. 

In 1842, Mr. Bruner was married to Miss Mary Anne 
Kincaid. He bad a large family of children, five of whom 
survive him. 

He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and was 
faithful in all his "private and public duties of the chris- 
tian profession." 


J. A. S. 

In the latter part of the summer of 1896 Mrs. Hellen 
Clements, of Williamston, N. C, very kindly presented to 
the Trinity College Historical Society the diary which her 
father, Mr. D. W. Bagley, kept during the war. This 
diary is of great interest and value as a record of the 
movements of the opposing forces, battles, etc., kept by a 
close observer intensely interested in the struggle, and 
especially on account of the insight it gives into the lives 
of those compelled to flee from their homes and seek a 
refuge from the enemy outside their own neighborhood. 

In April, 1861. a meeting was held in the Court House 
at Williamston to take into consideration the defenseless 
condition of the county. It was decided to raise money to 
equip volunteer companies from the county, and to provide 
for the families of those who volunteered. Of this "Volun- 
teer Fund'' Mr. Bagley was elected treasurer. In his 
diary he entered the names of all who volunteered, and 
started out with the intention of making a note of the fate 
and conduct during the war of every soldier who went from 
Martin county, but during a spell of typhoid fever, which 
lasted through the summer of 1862, he lost sight of many 
of them. On account of his outspoken patriotism and zeal 
in the cause of the Confederacy he was an object of especial 
hatred to the "human skunk tories,' 1 as he calls them, and 
when the Yankees entered Williamston for the first time, 
in July, 186*2, he was the first man they enquired for. He 

Historical Papers. 9 

had left the town, however, with his family and t: 
servants, having to get up from a bed of sickness to do so. 
Every house from which tiie whites had fled was searched, 
but none so thoroughly as his. He says: "They searched 
every nook and corner of my house, stole my brandy, 
broke open bureaus, scattered every thing, broke open my 
office, broke windows, pulled out iron chest and searched 
for records, letters, etc., got open old papers, and scattered 
them and other papers over the floor. " Mr. Bagley was 
persuaded to leave by his friends, for it was thought he 
would be arrested and carried oft in spite of his ill health. 
He had determined not to leave, but thinking they would 
shell the town, and knowing he could be of no service, he 
"left, not caring a straw for what little I had left, so we 
could get an equivalent in vandal blood. " On the last day 
of the month the town was again entered by the enemy. 
Before the landing the town had been shelled, though no 
one was hurt by it. and the shells had driven many women 
and children on foot two or three miles in the country, 
through the rain that was then falling, and many were wet- 
through and exhausted when they reached a place of safety. 
He often breaks out bitterly against the ;; tories." those 
"white-livered native scoundrels, " who were the worst 
enemies. "Oh, God." he writes, "grant us a Morgan. 
Jackson, Ashby, or some such spirit with a united people 
to free us of such mean, vile, and abandoned creatures, 
who are a disgrace to our species, whose element seems to 
be among the negroes whom they outrage, strange as it 
may appear to polite, patriotic, and enlightened men." 

Three days after the second entrance into the town the 
commissioners met and requested Captains Eure and Adams 
to withdraw their troops from the town, as their presence 
did more harm than good, giving, as it did, excuse to the 
enemy for shelling the place. 

At the solicitation of his wife and friends he decided to 
leave Williamston and go to some place where he would be 

10 The Diary of a Confederate Refugee. 

more safe from capture and freer from annoyance. Secured 
a house about half a mile from depot at Rocky Mount, and 
left for his new home September S, 1S02. And now 
troubles and privations that they had not known before 
begin for him and his family. Unfortunately the man to 
whom the house he was renting belonged was an unprin- 
cipled scoundrel, and did everything in his power to make 
life unpleasant for the refugees whose dependence upon 
him for supplies placed them almost entirely at his mercy. 
He not only charged enormous prices for what he grudg- 
ingly let them have, but did everything in his power to 
annoy them. December. 1868, having been swindled out 
of $400 or ?f>00 by his landlord that year, and despairing 
of getting along with him, he decides to move, which he 
does December 26, to "Shady Retreat," Xash county. 
about four miles from Rocky Mount. Three families — his 
own, Mr. Short's, and Mr. Clements', occupied the same 
house, twenty-nine people in all. This move he especially 
regrets, because it deprives him of the pleasure of going to 
the depot and occasionally meeting old friends and seeing 
passing soldiers. The difficulty of getting provisions now 
becomes a serious matter. Mr. Short often travels day 
after day, over rough roads, through rain and all kinds of 
weather, without being able to buy anything whatever. 
They have a certificate of need from a government agent, 
but it does not avail ; — they, the refugees, are turned away 
empty-handed, while others can buy. Mr. Short succeeds 
in getting a little here, a little there, but starvation seems 
at times to stare them in the face. 

January 6, 1864, he writes: "Flour passed here to-day 
for which I offered 8100 per barrel, but was told it was for 

government use and was to be delivered to at Rocky 

Mount, and that it was worth $150 at Warrenton, from 
whence he had brought his two loads, all of which I have 
no doubt is a speculator's lie." The next day, January 7, 
Mr. Short had better success than he had met with in some 

Historical Papers 11 

time. "Mr. Short engaged to-day COO to 800 pounds of 
green pork at $2.00 per pound. Such a thing has become 
a curiosity to us to see, to say nothing of eatin Some 

times they could not get supplies that they had en 
January 23, 1SG4, he writes : "Sent to Mr. Battle's mill for 
meal to-day, and, notwithstanding the fact that they had 
engaged to supply us, could not get any. I then sent to 
Watson's mill, four miles the other way, but could get 
none, so to-morrow we shall be without bread, as we have 
been without hog meat.'' Many went over to the lines of 
the enemy on account of inability to get food, but this 
they could not think of doing. 

While all this is vividly brought out, we feel that the 
mention of the difficulty of their getting supplies is only 
by the way, and that the deepest concern of the writer is 
about the poor soldiers at the front. Added to the diffi- 
culty of getting supplies was the difficulty of keeping them 
after they were gotten, for numbers of rogues were prowling 
about, and nothing was safe. He often writes bitterly of 
the extortioners and speculators fattening on the very 
life-blood of their country, utterly indifferent to her 
welfare, and caring for nothing save the almighty dollar — 
"blindly worshiping the Golden Calf," and the farmers 
raising cotton and tobacco while soldiers were suffering for 

Mr. Bagley kept posted as well as he was able upon 
every movement, especially any movement of the Martin 
county troops, and commented freely upon the situation 
from time to time. In October, 1S63, hearing of an order 
to remove to Charleston the 17th regiment, composed of 
soldiers from Martin, Washington, Edgecombe, and adjoin- 
ing counties, who, on account of familiarity with the 
country, were especially suited for duty there, he wrote to 
Colonel David A. Barnes to use his influence with Governor 
Yance to have the order countermanded. Colonel Barnes 
replied in a few days, saying that he had laid the matter 

12 Tup: Diary of a Confederate Refugee. 

before the Governor, who manifested much solicitude for 

that section, and promised to do at once what lie could. 
"Which is immense if he does," says Mr. Bagley, "as the 
Secretary of War will hear with more attention what our 
chivalrous Governor says than he would what a brigade of 
citizens could say." Under date September 15, 1863, he 
gives a summary of the things the South has to contend 

"We have to contend with : 

"The wet-blanket set of timid creatures. 

"The croakers, with whom all is wrong. 

"The money dealers, who take pleasure in producing 
panic with the solvency and faith of the Government. 

"The fence men. who are waiting to see who is strongest. 

"The extortioner, who holds back supplies from the 
soldiers, their families and people, to extort fabulous 
prices, and has no good word, act, or deed for any but self. 

"The speculator in necessaries, who would sink a conti- 
nent to make money, and nerves himself against the wants 
of army and people, and expects to be able after the war 
shall end to buy himself a place among the people and in 

"The open repudiator of money, cause. President, cabinet 
and country. (Chief among whom he places William 
Holden, of Raleigh, editor of the Standard, at whose door 
he lays the death of many a poor, ignorant fellow, who, 
deceived by the false ideas he disseminated, deserted, onlv 
to be captured and made to surfer a shameful death.) 

"The open tories, native and foreign born, who have 
acted as spies, guides, informers, aiders and abettors, 
urging on the enemy to outrages we should in many 
instances have escaped but for them. 

"The tobacco and cottou growers who turn a deaf ear to 
the heart-rending appeals from the loyal press throughout 
the land on the score of humanity, as well as the cause in 
which we are en£a2:ed. 

Historical Papers. 13 

"The skulkers and deserters, to whose faithlessness many 
of our defeats have no doubt been due. 

"The inability of commanders who should be in the 

"The want of a navy and access to the markets of the 

"The want of recognition by the maritime powers of the 

"The fact that the enemy is fighting us with foreigners. 

"The disparity in numbers. 

"Many of our poor dupes taking the oath to support the 
Lincoln government, induced by the seductive promises of 
the enemy, afterwards to rind themselves dispoiled and 
despised by them. 

"The contemptible blockade, which has done more to 
discourage, inflate prices, injure the currency, and demor- 
alize army and people than any other one thing. " 

During the last two years of the war he often alludes to 
the alarming depravity and greediness, so remarkably 
different from the prayerful devotion and sacrifice of the 
first two years. Wrote bitterly at times of those who 
advised any concessions to the enemy. At one place he 
says : ' 'May a kind heaven grant us an eternal separation 
from them. We have had no real peace with them. We 
have been subject to insult and injury for many years, 

until further forbearance was oat of the question 

I had rather see all sunk into a dead sea than again be 
reconciled with the Yankee fanatical race." Governor 
Vance's utterances during the last year of the war were a 
source of deep regret to him. Says Vance's message to 
legislature in 1864 falls far short of former utterances, from 
a patriotic standpoint. "He panders too much to the 
Stephens, Brown, Holden and Company's principles. . . 
It seems to me to be preposterous to be harangueing for 
State's rights when we have no States." April 26, 1864, 
he writes : kk I read to-day from the Express with deep 

14 The Diaim" of a Confedekate Refugee. 

regret a report of Governor Vance's last speech at Fayette- 
ville. It falls very far short of his Wilkes count}' speech 
in patriotism and consistency. He joins with Governor 
Brown and Vice-President Stephens, and more or less with 
Holden, of North Carolina, as shadowed forth in their abase 
of the late acts of Congress, and shows himself to be more 
egotistical than I had hoped for. I had feared for him and 
truly hope lie may have been misrepresented in his views. 
. . . . I cannot express my soirow at seeing such men 

as him and Stephens at a time like the present 

straining at straws and giving the enemy renewed encour- 
agement. Stephens and Brown I feel done with, but hope 
on still for Vance. I have long supported him with all my 
heart, — say from the reading of his first political letter 
over two years ago." Though it was partly through his 
fearless advocacy of some of the tilings for which Mr. 
Bagley condemns him that Vance won distinction as the 
War Governor of the South, it is interesting to note the 
view taken of the course he pursued by patriotic men who 
had at first been his loyal supporters. He thinks, too, 
that the Governor acted very strangely towards Martin 
county, ;; she having done more, probably, than any other 
county in the State in sending men, raising equipments, 
etc., etc." Here he gives a list of the companies furnished 
by his county. ''When the 34th Regiment was recalled it 
had a powerful feeling of depression upon every one. 
Each looked upon the move as saying to us, w You are 
given up by a decree in council of your rulers. Be content 
therewith, and send your able-bodied men to the defense 
of a more valuable section and people.-" Mr. Bagley, 
however, rejoices greatly at Vance's victory over Holden in 
1864, and records with deep regret the names of the few 
men of his acquaintance who sank so low as to vote for 

He often mentions Jackson in terms of highest praise. 

Historical Papebs. 15 

and dates all of our heavy losses and gloomy prospects 
from the 'doss by death of fchat great man, Gen. Jackson." 
During an assault on Charleston a Martin coimty boy 
was shot in the thigh and crawled back about two hundred 
vards to our fortifications and called for his Lieutenant, 


who heard and called for volunteers to go and bring him 
in. "Whereupon .... very readily offered and did go 
and brought him safely without injury, except the loss of 
his pants, which were shot off of him!" Curious how a 
fellow could come from under tire sans pantaloons, with 
hide intact. 

Here is a clipping from a newspaper pasted in the diary, 
showing how the soldiers amused themselves at times in 
camp : 



Captain William Biggs, Manager; Lieutenants G. W. Grimes, William 
Cherry, W. E. Winuley, J. M. Sitterson, M. A. Cotton, A. T. Sraton; 
Sergeants T. A. Gotten, James Keith, L. Haughton, Mr. Edmondson. 



Overture Company. 

I'll Love Thee as Long as I Live Windley. 

Gal of "Old Yirginny" Sitterson. 

Instrumental Company. 


Mollie Ward, ballad Sitterson. 

) (M. A. Cotten, 

Lucy Long Polka, > < Grimes, 

) ( Sitterson. 
Jonnie's Gone for a Soldier Keith. 

Powers of Music, \ {&^ 

Violin Solo Cherry. 

Comic Keith. 

Band of Brothers Company. 

16 Robert Henry's Narrative. 


Overture Company. 

Gum-tree Canoe Sitt^rson. 

Aunty Dinah Windier. 

New Blue Tail Fly Sitterson. 

Instrumental Company. 


Comic Song Keith. 

Old Farmer's Bridle, I \ |^i°?' „ 

\ I Lamonuson. 

Jig Dancers Cotten & Brother. 

Nigger Wat Spouts Sitterson. 

1 ) Cotten, 

Dental Surgeon, V v Sitterson, 

J J Grimes. 

Stump Speech Sitterson. 

To Conclude with the Grand Drama, 

Old Abe Outwitted Company. 

Performance to commence . . . o'clock, p. m. preezackley. 



I will proceed to point out and correct some of the errors 
in Wheeler's History of North Carolina, so far as respects the 
transactions of Cornwailis crossing Cowan's Ford, on Catawba 
River, the ist of February, 17S1. Then I will give my own 
version of that transaction; then I will give the common 
report of the transaction shortly after it happened. 

Wheeler's History pp. 232—33^ u Here"(meaning at Cowan's 
Ford) "about six hundred militia under General Davidson 

*Robert Henry, the author of this manuscript, was born in Tryon i^now 
Lincoln) county, February 10, 1765. He went to a medical and law school 
at Columbia. South Carolina, and after being there three years he settled in 
Buncombe county, N. C, being one of the pioneer settlers of that county. 
He wrote this manuscript in the latter part of his life, The original manu- 
script is in the possession of his son, Wm. L. Henry, of Buncombe county. 
We are indebted to Hon. D. Schenck. of Greensboro, for the copy from 
which this was taken. That copy has since been deposited in the Library of 
the Greensboro Female College. 

HlSTOlUCAT, Papkus. 17 

were posted, and a slight skirmish occurred. A British Col- 
onel (Hall) and three privates were killed, and thirty-six 

If we take this account to be true, we must conclude that 
their militia were very bad marksmen, for they had time to 
have fired five rounds each, which would have been tftree 
thousand single shots, at distances varying from fifty yards to 
less than twenty yards, over a naked sheet of water; that their 
enemy was not obscured by smoke, being in water above the 
waist-baud, and hanging together by their muskets; that not 
a single gun was fired bv them whilst in the water. 

This story, if it bears telling, cannot be accredited to be 
true, that in firing three thousand shots they only killed four, 
including Colonel Hall, and wounded thirty-six. The story 
appears further increditable from this — that in common battles 
on land, there are as many, and often more, men killed than 
wounded where the whole force from head to foot is exposed 
to the fire of the opposite party. In the present case the 
body, from the waist-band to the top of the head, was exposed 
— for all below was under water and secure from lead. 
Wounds in the upper part (of the body) are doubly as apt to 
kill as those in the lower extremities, from the waist-band 
downward; hence we would expect double as many killed on 
this occasion as wounded — but the reverse is told, that only 
four were killed, including Colonel Hall, and thirty-six 

A further mistake may be noticed. The account states that 
Davidson had six hundred militia, whereas he had only three 
hundred. The whole of this quotation should pass for 

The next error that I will notice is on page 235 of Wheeler's 
History, which I quote: "Soon after the action commenced" 
(meaning at Cowan's Ford) "General William Davidson was 
killed, greatly lamented by all who knew him as a talented, 
brave and generous officer." The true statement is this: 
Davidson was killed bv the first eun that was fired on the 

18 Robert Hkxhy's Narrative. 

British side on that occasion, for they did not fire a gun whilst 
in the river; and the gun that killed him was fired at the 
water's edge on the Mecklenburg side: and if Davidson's 
clothes had been examined, it is probable that they would 
have shown the mark of powder. The whole of the Ameri- 
cans had left their stands or posts at the water's edge and 
judiciously fled, lest the British might hem them in by the 
river; and utter silence prevailed — not a gun firing on either 
side; silence was first broken by the report of the gun that 
killed Davidson. 

A further quotation from the same page: "The company 
commanded by General Graham was the first to commence 
the attack" (at Cowan's Ford) "on the British as they advanced 
through the river, which was resolutely continued until 
they reached the bank, loaded their arms, and commenced a 
heavy fire upon his men, two of whom were killed." The 
whole of this is a gratuitous statement, for General Graham 
was not there — nor was there either officer or private killed 
at that place except General Davidson; nor was there any one 
wounded there except Robert Beatty, who afterwards died of 
the wound. General Graham and his company may have 
been at Davidson's camp, three-quarters of a mile from the 
Ford, and two of his men might have been killed there, if 
they were too tardy in making their escape before the British 
arrived there. 

Another quotation from Wheeler's History, p. 264: "At 
day-break the British army under Cornwallis, on the 1st Feb- 
ruary, 1781, entered the waters of the Catawba, then swollen 
by heavy rains, at Cowan's Ford. The morning was dark 
and rainy. The light infantry under Colonel Hall entered 
first, followed by the grenadiers, and the battalions. The 
piquet of General Davidson challenged the enemy; receiving 
no reply the guard fired. This turned out the whole force of 
Davidson, who kept up a galling fire from the bank." Ob- 
serve the morning was dark but not rainy. Davidson's army 
was stationed three-quarters of a mile from the Ford, and did 

Historical Papers. 19 

not fire a gun at the British whilst in the river, nor after they 
came across; all the firing by the American side in the river 
and on the bank was done by the guard 

Now, I will give my own version of the transaction of Corn- 
wallis' crossing Catawba River at Cowan's Ford, ist Feb- 
ruary, 1 781. Robert Beatty, a lame man, had taken up a 
school near the Tuckaseedga Ford, and had taught two days, 
and was teaching the third, when news came to the school- 
house that Cornwallis was camped at Forney's, about seven 
miles from the school-house; that Tarleton was ranging 
through the country catching Whig boys to make musicians 
of them in the British army. The master instantly dismissed 
the scholars, directing them to go home and spread the news, 
and retired himself. I went home, and that night Moses 
Starret, Alexander Starret, George Gillespie, Robert Gillespie 
and Charles Rutledge came to my father's. We lay out that 
night, and shortly before day-light my brother, Joseph Henry, 
who had left the army to give the news, and had crossed Catawba 
at John Beattie's in a canoe; and when he left the army, it was 
expected that Cornwallis would cross the river at Tuckaseedga 
Ford. Early in the morning this company crossed the river at 
Beattie's, about two miles below Tuckaseedga Ford, when we 
hid our canoe, staid some time at Beattie's — then went up 
to the Tuckaseedga Ford, and the army was at Cowan's Ford, 
we went up the river to John Nighten's, who treated us well 
by giving us potatoes to roast, and some whiskey to drink. 
We became noisy and mischievous. Nighten said we should 
not have any more whiskey. I proposed to go to the camp 
at the Ford, if any one would let me have a gun and ammuni- 
tion. My brother said he would give me his ; Charles Rutledge 
proposed also to accompany me if he had a gun and amunition ; 
when Moses Starret gave him his gun. When about to start, 
I gave Nighten a hundred dollar Continental bill for a pint 
of whiskey. My brother gave another bill of the same size 
for half a bushel of potatoes. We dispatched the whiskey. 
Being thus equipped, we went to the Ford, which was aboiu 

20 Robert Henry's Narrative. 

a mile and a half. When we arrived, the guard that was 
there, thirty in number, made us welcome ; the officer of the 
guard told us that Cornwallis would certainly attempt tocr 
that night or early in the morning ; that each one of the guard 
had picked their stands to annoy the British as they crossed, 
so that when the alarm was given they would not be crowded, 
or be in each other's way — and said we must choose our stands. 
He accompanied us — Charles Rutledge chose the uppermost 
stand, and I chose the lowest, next the getting out place of 
the Ford ; the officer observed that he considered that David- 
son had dene wrong, for that the army should have been sta- 
tioned at the Ford — instead of which it was encamped three- 
fourths of a mile off, and that some person acquainted in the 
neighborhood of Forney should watch the movements of Corn- 
wallis' army, and immediately when they would attempt to 
march, to hasten to the river and give the alarm ; then that 
Davidson's army might be in readiness to receive them; the 
river being in the situation that it was then in, and the army 
thus prepared to receive them, said that Cornwallis and a mill- 
ion ot men could not cross without cannon as Ions: as our am- 
munition would last. This I thought was a large expression ; 
but since I think he w r as correct. He mentioned to each man 
of the guard to go to his stand again and examine it, so that 
when the alarm was given, that there should be no mistakes 
then made. I went to mine, and was well pleased with it — 
for in shooting, if I would miss my first aim, my lead would 
range along the British army obliquely and still do damage, 
and that I could stand it until the British would come to a 
place the water was rippling over a rock, then it would be 
time to run away. I remember I looked over the guard to see 
if there was any person with whom I was acquainted, and 
found none but Joel Jetton, and my lame school-master, 
Robert Beatty, with my comrade, Charles Rutledge. 

Gen. Joseph Graham's name is mentioned by Wheeler. I 
was acquainted with him ; but he was not there. Shortly 
after dark a man across the river hooted like an owl, and was 

Histoiucal Papers. 21 

answered ; a man went to a canoe some distance off, and 
brought word from him that all was silent in the British 
camp. The guards all lay down with their guns in their 
arms, and all were sound asleep at daybreak, except Joel Jet- 
ton, who discovered the noise of horses in deep water. The 
British pilot, Dick Beal, being deceived by our fires, had led 
them into swimming water. Jetton ran to the Ford. The 
sentry being sound asleep, Jetton kicked him into the river, 
endeavored to fire his gun, but it was wet. Having discov- 
ered the army, ran to our tires, having a fine voice, cried 
"The British! the British! " and fired a £un — then each man 
ran to his stand; when I got to my stand I saw them red, 
but thought from loss of sleep my eyes might be mistaken, 
threw water into them; by the time I was ready to fire, the 
rest of the guard fired. I then heard the British splashing 
and making a noire as if drowning. I fired, and continued fir- 
ing until I saw that one on horseback had passed my rock in 
the river, and saw that it was Dick Beal moving his gun from 
his shoulder, I expected to shoct me. I ran with all speed 
up the bank, and when at the top of it, William Polk's horse 
breasted me, and General Davidson's horse, about twenty or 
thirty feet before Polk's horse, and near to the water's edge. 
All being silent on both sides, I heard the report of a gun at 
the water's edge, being the first gun fired on the British side, 
and which I thought Dick Beal had fired at me. That mo- 
ment Polk wheeled his horse and cried, "Fire away, boys; 
there is help at hand!" Turning my eye round, designing 
to run away, I saw my lame school-master, Beatty, loading 
his gun by a tree; I thought I could stand it as long as he 
could, and commenced loading. Beattv fired, then I fired, 
the heads and shoulders of the British being just above the 
bank; they made no return fire; silence still prevailed. Iob- 
served Beatty loading again; I ran down another load; when 
he fired he cried, "It's time to run, Bob." I looked past my 
tree, and saw their guns lowered, and then straightened my- 
self behind my tree. They fired and knocked off some bark 
from mv tree. 

22 Robert Henry's Narrative. 

In the meantime Beatty bad turned from his tree, and a 
bullet hit him in the hip and broke the upper end of hi; thigh 
bone; he fell, still hallowing for me to run. I then ran at 
the top of my speed about one hundred yards, when the 
thought struck me that the British had no horsemen to follow 
me, and that Davidson's army would be down at the river 
and a battle would take place. Whereupon I loaded my gun 
and went opposite to the Ford, and chose a large tree, sat 
down by it, and fired about fifty yards at the British. They 
fired several guns toward the place where I was; but their 
lead did not come nearer to me than about two rods. 

I will now account for the great difference between the 
number of the British killed and those wounded, as stated by 
Wheeler. The water at the Ford was fully waistband deep, 
and in many places deeper, with a very heavy pressing cur- 
rent, and when a man was killed or badly wounded the cur- 
rent immediately floated him away, so that none of them that 
were killed or badly wounded were ever brought to the shore, 
and none but those slightly wounded readied the bank; 
Cclonel Hall fell at the bank. I account for the three Brit- 
ish that were killed, as stated by Wheeler, in this way: Beatty, 
the lame school-master, an excellent marksman, fired twice, 
at a distance of not more than twenty yards, at the British, 
after they had ascended the high bank, as before stated, and 
I fired twice about the same distance. I therefore think 
Beatty being the best marksman killed two, and I killed one. 

Wheeler states that on the American side there were two 
killed. I observe if there was any one killed that it was not 
at the river, for the British did not fire a gun whilst in the 
river, and when they arose the high bank, all were gone but 
Beatty and myself; that if any were killed it was at David- 
son's camp, three-quarters of a mile from the Ford of the 
river. But I never heard of any one either killed or wounded 
of the Americans, except Robert Beatty, on that occasion. 

I will give an account of the balance of my route after fir- 
ing the last time, as heretofore stated. I went down the river 

Historical Papers. 23 

to John Beattie's, where we had left our canoe; there I found 
my company, the two Starretts and two Gillespies, my brother 
Joseph and my comrade, Charles Rutledge. I returned the 
gun to my brother after counting the catridges — found seven 
missing — therefore I had fired seven times, as I supposed. 
The company remained at Beattie's until the next morning; 
when we took our canoe to cross the river to the Lincoln side, 
it was proposed that we would go to James Cunningham's 
fish trap and see if there were any fish in it. When we ar- 
rived at the trap there were fourteen dead men lodged in it, 
several of whom appeared to have no wound, but had drowned. 
We pushed them into the water, they floated off, and went 
each to his own home. This is my version of that transac- 

Now, I will give the common report of it. I will begin 
with the report of Nicholas Gosnell, one of our neighbors, a 
Tory, who was in Cornwailis' army when they crossed the 
Catawba at Cowan's Ford. It was frequently repeated from 
the extraordinary language he used and from his manner of 
expression — it is therefore better imprinted on my memory. 
I will endeavor to give it in his own language: "His Lord- 
ship chose Dick Beal for his pilot, he well knowd the Ford, 
and a durned pretty pilot he was, for he suffered himself to 
be led astray by the Rebel fires, and then had to go down to 
the Ford afterwards; but if he did bad one way he did good 
another, for he killed their damned Rebel General. The 
Rebels were posted at the water's edge — there want many on 
'em; but I'll be durned if they didn't slap the wad to his 
Majesty's men sewisidally for a while, for I saw 'em hollerin' 
and a snortin' and a drownin' —the river was full on 'em, a 
snortin', a hoilorin' and a drownin' until his Lordship reached 
the off bank; then the Rebels made straight shirt tales, and 
all was silent — then I tell you his Lordship was Bo sure super 
Gille Christilum, and when he rose the bank he was the best 
dog in the hunt, and not a Rebel to be seen." This is the 
Tory version of Cornwailis crossing Catawba at Cowan's Ford. 

24 King's Mountain Expedition. 

The following 1 is the report of every person who lived at or 
near the river between Cowan's Ford and Turkaseedga Ford: 
That a great number of British dead were found on Thomp- 
son's fish dam and in his trap, and numbers lodged on brush 
and drifted to the banks; that the river stunk with dead car- 
casses; that the British could not have lost less than one 
hundred men on that occasion. 

Report of soldiers who were in Davidson's army. When 
Win. Polk returned from the river after General Davidson 
was killed at Cowan's Ford, three-quarters of a mile from the 
Ford — they stated that when William Polk returned from the 
Ford, and reported the death of General Davidson, that some 
of the army had left and the rest were in confusion; that Polk 
prudently marched them ofi, not being able to fight Corn- 
wallis on equal terms. 



I will now give the statement of Colonel D. Vance and 
General Joseph McDowell of the manner of raising the 
army to oppose Colonel Fergurson — its march and defeat 
of Fergurson. 

This part is the statement of Colonel Vance ; and on a 
sarcastic and sneering reply by M. Matthews, saying that 
they, to- wit, the army under Campbell, was a tierce and 
formidable set of chickens, and could make great havoc 
among eggs, if each one was provided with a stick. This 
elicited a more extensive reply and statement of the 
whole affair and its consequences from Gen. J. McDowell. 
I will first give the reasons why Vance and McDowell made 
these statements. The General Assembly of Xorth Caro- 
lina made an agreement with that of Tennessee to run and 
mark the division line between the two States— and in the 
year 1790 the State of Xorth Carolina appointed General 

Historical Papers. 25 

J. McDowell, Colonel David Vance 1 and Massentine Mat- 
thews 2 Commissioners on the part of North Carolina, who 
associated John Strother and Kobert Henry, surveyors,, 
with the necessary members of chain-bearers, markers, and 
pack-horsemen for that business, who met and went to the 
White Top Mountain, a spur of the Stone Mountain, where 
the Virginia line crossed the latter. Strother did not 
appear at the commencement. The company were asking 
a great many detached questions relative to Fergurson's 
defeat — at length requested that McDowell or Vance would 
give them a connected account of the whole transaction 
from first to last. It was agreed that Colonel Vance should 
give that account. The Colonel agreed to do so on con- 
sulting with McDowell, our pilot, Gideon Lewis, who had 
been a news-carrier, and myself [and related it], on the 
first wet day that should happen so that we could not pro- 
gress with the line. 

Accordingly a wet day happened, when we were at the 
head of the Round- About on the Stone Mountain. Our 
bark camp was soon fixed, and Colonel Vance gave the 
account, ending with the details of the battle of King's 
Mountain. Whereupon M. Matthews observed that "we 
(meaning the army ) were a fierce and formidable set of blue 
hen's chickens among eggs, if each one was provided with 
a stick." This brought a reply from McDowell. That 
being done I was provided with a note book, separate from 
my surveyor's book, to take down a memorandum of par- 
ticular things that happened, and commenced taking a 
memorandum of Vance's account of that transaction. 
Whereupon Colonel Vance, who was an elegant clerk, told 
me as there was only one surveyor, that I had not time to 
do it, and if I would give him my book, that he would 

1 Member of the House of Commons from Iredell County, N. C, in 1791— 
Wheeler, page 02, L. C. D. 

2 Member of House of Commons— Wheeler, page 217, Iredell County, 
L. C. D. 

26 King's Mountain Expedition. 

write it for me, as lie had leisure. He took the book and 
returned it to me, .saying lie had paper of his own. at a 
spring by the side of Bright's Path in the Bald Ground on 
the Yellow Mountain. Having taken down his own recol- 
lections, and also General McDowell's reply to M. Matthews 
— which is as follows : 

"As I have in some measure to depend on my memory, 
I will begin with Colonel Shelby's retreat after his defeat- 
ing the British at Enoree. Colonel Charles McDowell had 
detached Shelby, Sevier, etc., with a party to go round 
where Fergurson was camped — who defeated the British 
and Tories at Enoree, when Colonel McDowell received 
intelligence of Gates' defeat, and sent an express to Col- 
onel Shelby to retreat. General Joseph McDowell was 
then Mayor, and I was Captain. Colonel Shelby called a 
council of all his officers to know what was best to do. It 
wtis agreed that we must make a wood's trip to get round 
Fergurson and join Colonel C. McDowell, carrying the pris- 
oners alternately on horseback, and running on foot short 
distances. After going some distance, found that Colonel 
C. McDowell had left his camp, and was retreating towards 
Gilbert Town, we altered our course and overtook him and 
the main army. 

"After joining Colonel C. McDowell, it was proposed by 
Colonels Shelby and Sevier that they thought an army of 
volunteers could be raised to defeat Fergurson, stating that 
Fergurson's main business was to kill the Whig stock : that 
he would be at the heads of Broad River, and then go to 
the head of Catawba to execute that purpose, which would 
give time to raise an army of volunteers over tne moun- 
tains, and in Wilkes and Surry counties, all the officers, 
and some of the privates were consulted, and all agreed 
that it was right to make the trial to raise an army. It 
was then agreed that the prisoners should be sent to Vir- 
ginia ; that Colonels Shelby and Sevier and their men 
should immediately go over the mountains home, and pro- 

Historical Papers. 27 

cure volunteers; that Colonel Chas. McDowell should 
send an express to Colonels Cleveland and Herndon in 
Wilkes for them to raise volunteers; and that Colonel C. 
McDowell should provide some way to preserve the Whig 
stock on the head of Catawba, and provide some way also 
to give intelligence of Fergurson's movements. 

"The prisoners were accordingly dispatched to Virginia. 
Colonels Shelby and Sevier went immediately over the 
mountains: and Colonel C. McDowell wrote to Colonels 
Cleveland and Herndon to raise volunteers to be ready to 
march upon the shortest notice ; he then called the men on 
the head of Catawba, and first proposed that they that 
could not go over the mountains, should take protection 
on the advance of Fergurson. and thereby save the Whig 
stock; Daniel Smith (afterwards Colonel), Thomas Ly tie, 
Robert Patton. and J. McDowell, of the Pleasant Garden, 
absolutely refused, and stated that they would drive the 
Whig stock into the deep coves under the eve of the 
Black Mountain : — that others mia'ht take protection and 
save the stock that remained behind. John Carson (after- 
wards Colonel"). Wm. Davidson. Ben Davidson, and others 
were appointed to take protection, to save the remaining 
Whig stock. 

4 'James. Jack and Archibald Nail were appointed to be 
news-bearers over the Yellow Mountains to Shelby, and 
were to be passing continually — that they were to receive 
the news in Turkey Cove relative to Ferguson's movements. 
That Joseph Dobson and James McKay were to be bearers 
of the like news to Colonels Cleveland and Herndon ; and 
that thev were to receive their news at the Montsomerv 
Place, afterwards Joseph Dobson' s place. 

•'Colonel Ben Cleveland appointed his brother, Eobert 
Cleveland, and Gideon Lewis, our pilot, to be newsd^earers 
from B. Cleveland to Shelby. Thus the news went the 
rounds as fast as horses could carry their riders. 

"After Colonel C. McDowell had thus arranged his 

28 King's Mountain Expedition. 

business, he received the news that Fergurson was at Gil- 
bert Town. He then collected all the men that he could 
procure from Burke county, and went to Shelby and Sevier, 
who had engaged Colonel Campbell, of Virginia, also to 
raise volunteers. The orders given to the volunteers were 
to equip themselves as quick as possible, and have nothing 
to provide when they were called on to march, but to 
saddle their horses and march on the shortest notice. 
Those who could not go supplied those who could with 
anything they stood in need of. It was also announced to 
the volunteers by the officers that a battle with Fergurson 
was determined upon, and that they might rely on a battle 
before they returned home. 

"The news went the rounds by the news-carriers already 
mentioned, of everything that happened in Fergurson' s 
camp — until the news came that John Carson had played 
a supple trick on Fergurson — that having saved almost all 
the Whig stock that had not been driven into the coves by 
Daniel Smith and Company — that Ferguson began to sus- 
pect Carson for saving Whig stock — there being a large 
quantity of Tory cattle ranging about the large cane-breaks 
where David Greenlee lives, and that a party of Fergurson' s 
were fitted out to kill Whig stock, and that they design- 
ing to go to that place — and another party was going to 
the Montgomery place — that is, the place where Joseph 
Dobson lives on — for the like purpose. Carson went with 
the party going to the Montgomery place without inform- 
ing the party going to the Greenlee place that the cattle 
ranging there were Tory stock, the owners being in Fergur- 
son' s camp, The parties each went to their places of 
destination, and returned into camp ; those who went to 
the Greenlee place reported that they had killed over one 
hundred head of three, four, five and six-year-old Rebel 
steers at McGonaugh place. J. Carson observed that he 
expected that those steers were the stock of Joseph Brown, 
Dement and Johnstone, who were there in the camp. 


Historical Papers. 29 

Whereupon Brown, Dement and Johnstone went and dis- 
covered that the steers thus killed were every one theirs. 
This turned the Tories rather against Fergurson ; whereupon 
Fergurson stated that the Rebels had outwitted him, and 
that he could not effect his rmrpose there — that he would 
start back to Gilbert Town on a given day. 

"'The news was on its passage to Shelby and Cleveland 
as soon as the breath left Fergurson' s mouth — it did not 
stop day or night — it was soon at the place of destination. 
Immediately Shelby directed Campbell and his men to 
meet him at a given time at Watauga ; and Sevier to meet 
him and Campbell at 10 o'clock on a given day at the 
spring in the Bald Ground, on the Yellow Mountains, at 
the side of Bright' s Path — all of which were done with 
great exactness. He issued orders for Cleveland and Hern- 
don to meet him on a given day on Silver Creek, in Burke 
county; and ordered D. Smith, J. McDowell, Lytle, Patton, 
and those who had taken protection, to meet him at Wm. 
Nail's by a given night, which was the night next after 
the meeting on the Yellow Mountain. 

"When the officers met at the spring on the Yellow 
Mountain, it was quickly agreed that they would send 
Colonel Charles McDowell with an express to General 
Gates, for him to send an experienced officer to conduct 
them in a battle with Fergurson ; and as soon as Charles 
McDowell, with his silver-mounted Tom Simpson rifle, had 
disappeared, steering for the path on the Linville Ridge, 
the army descended the mountain on Bright' s Path, and 
went to Wm. IS T aiFs that night, where they met Daniel 
Smith, Thomas Lytle, Joseph McDowell and Robert Patton, 
the persons who had driven the Whig stock into the coves 
under the eave of Black Mountain, and also those who had 
taken protection. When it was agreed that D. Smith, T. 
Lytle and J. McDowell should remain at the head of the 
river, as they were considered equal to a small army 
against Indians ; and that the Indians were expected to 

30 King's Mountain Expedition. 

fall od the frontier as soon as Fergurson left it ; and that 
they should have those who had taken protection to assist 
them. It was agreed that Joseph McDowell (now General) 
should take twenty men with him, and follow Fergurson' s 
trail for fear of surprise — who at the head of Silver Creek, 
near the Pilot Mountain, came on a squad of Tories who 
were designing to follow Fergurson, and killed some of 
them and put the rest to flight — and returned to the army 
in the morning after staying the night at Wm. Nail's. 

"The army marched into Silver Creek, and at the place 
appointed met Colonels Cleveland and Herndon so exactly 
that it scarcely occasioned a halt — proceeding on the Cane 
Creek of Broad River, at a place afterwards called Probit's 

•'Major Billy Chronicle, with twenty men, joined the 
army ; no halt called — still proceeding on. At Camp Creek 
Colonel William Graham, with one hundred and sixty 
men well mounted, ioined — who gave intelligence that 

o O CD 

Ferguson had left Gilbert Town, and had crossed Broad 
River at Twitty's Ford, on his way to Crudger at Ninety- 
Six, and that Colonel Williams was near to Gilbert Town. 
It was agreed among the officers [while], still on the march, 
that Colonel Herndon'. « foot could not overhaul Ferguson 
before he would reach Ninety-Six. They then began to 
count the number of horsemen that they could raise. Be- 
ginning with those under Colonel Graham and those of 
Major Chronicle — Graham's men 160, Chronicle's 20, were 
to count 200, instead of 180. Campbell mentioned to 
Chronicle that the lad whom he had with him should not 
hear their enumeration. Chronicle replied that he was a 
son of Old Rugged and Tough, that his cheek was too well 
hooped to leak — the lad [Robert Henry] then [listening] is 
now our surveyor. They numbered on and found their 
true number to be between six and seven hundred ; but 
told the soldiers it was between 1100 and 2000 [1200(?)] 3 
counting Williams' men. 

Historical Papers. 


i 'Orders were then given for all who were unable, from 
any cause that would hinder him in a severe march, should 
fall back into the foot troops, and give their horses to foot- 
men [who needed them, in order to be properly equipped 
for the march]; a number of exchanges were made. 
Further orders were given at Gilbert Town to kill some 
beeves, which was done ; and orders were given for the 
horsemen to be ready to march at a given time, which was 
very short. Some of the troops who were tardy got none 
[of the beef (?)]. The line of march was taken to cross 
Broad River at Pear's Ford, below the mouth of Green 
River, to take a near cut on Fergurson on his wav to Ninety- 
Six. The day and night were occasionally showery. We 
marched on, crossing Fergurson's trail in the track (?), and 
proceeded to the Cowpens, and came to a Tory's house, 
pulled him out of bed, treated him roughly, and asked 
him at what time Fergurson had passed that place. He 
said he had not passed at all ; that he had torch pine — 
that we might light it and search, and if we could find the 
track of an army we might hang him, or do what we 
pleased with him; and if no sign of an army could be 
found, he would expect more mild treatment. Search was 
made, and no sign of an army found. 

(i We then camped, and began to send persons to find 
Fergurson' s track. Chronicle proposed to send Enoch Gil- 
mer as one ; it was objected to because he was not 
acquainted with the country. Chronicle said that he could 
find out anything better than those acquainted, for he 
could act any character that he pleased — that he could cry 
and laugh in the same breath, and those best acquainted 
would believe that he was in earnest in both ; that he could 
act the fool so that those best acquainted with him would 
believe him to be deranged : that he was a shrewd, cunning 
fellow, and a stranger to fear. Hence he was [sent] among 
others. He went to a Tory's house on Fergurson's trail. 
and stated to him that he had been waiting on Fergurson's 

32 King's Mountain Expedition. 

way from T witty 's Ford to Ninety-Six, but missed finding 
him ; that he wished to join the army. The Tory replied 
that after Fergurson had crossed the river at T witty 's Ford, 
he had received an express from Lord Cornwallia for him 
to join the main army at Charlotte; that he had called in 
Tarleton, and would call in his out posts, and give Gates 
another defeat, and reduce North Carolina to British rule 
as he had South Carolina and Georgia, and would enter 
Virginia with a larger army than had ever been in America. 
Gilmer gave this account to the officers. This was some 
time in the day. They then commenced marching to the 
Cherokee Ford on Broad River. Night came on, and our 
pilots missed their way, the night being dark and occasion- 
ally raining, so that when we came near to the river it was 
near daylight; when we came to the river hills it was 
agreed that we would send Enoch Gilmer to see whether 
Fergurson had not been apprised of us and would attack us 
in the river. Orders were given to keep our guns dry, for 
it was raining. Gilmer was gone for some time, when his 
voice was heard in the hollow singing ["] Barney Linn ["], 
a favorite black-guard song. This was notice that all was 
right. Orders were given that the largest horses should be 
on the upper side. The order was not obeyed. The river 
was deep, but it was remarked that not one was ducked. 
After passing the river, it was agreed that Enoch Gilmer 
should go ahead, and make all the discoveries about Fer- 
guson that he could. He went off in a gallop. The officers 
kept in front of the privates at a very slow gait — the men 
cursing and stating if we were to have a battle, to let it be 
over, etc. 

"All were very hungry, and when we would come to a 
cornfield, it was soon pulled. The soldiers would cut part 
of the raw corn off the cob and hand the remainder to their 
horses. After traveling some miles, the officers saw Gil- 
mer s horse at a gate about three-quarters of a mile ahead. 
They gave whip to their horses, and went at full speed to 
gate — alighted, and went into the house. Gilmer was sit- 

Historical Papers. 33 

ting at a table eating. Campbell exclaimed, 'We have 
got you — you d — d rascal' Gilmer replied. 'A true 
King's man, by G- — &-' Campbell in order to try Gilmer's 
metamorphosis, had provided himself with a rope, with a 
running noose on it, threw it over Gilmer's neck. Gilmer 
commenced crying and begging; Campbell swore that 
they w<ould hang him on the bow of the gate. When 
Chronicle stated that it was wrong to hang him there, for 
his ghost would haunt the women, who were now in tears. 
Campbell observed that was right, that we will hang him 
on the first stooping limb of a tree that they should pass on 
the road — then sending Gilmer along one or two hundred 
yards, Gilmer crying and begging for his life, the rope 
was taken from his neck, and he mounted his horse, and 
was asked what news he had obtained. He stated as fol- 
lows : 'That when he came to the Tory's house, he professed 
to be a true King's man, that he was wishing to join 
Colonel Fergurson, and desired to know where he was. and 
that he had kissed the two Tory women ; that the youngest 
of the two informed him that she had been in Ferguson's 
camp that morning ; that the camp w r as about three miles 
distant from that place; that she had carried him some 
chickens ; that he was camped on a ridge between two 
branches where some deer hunters had a camp the last 
Fall. Major Chronicle and Captain Mattocks stated that 
the camp referred to was their camp, and that they well 
knew the ground Fergurson was camped on. 

u Whereupon it was agreed on that they should plan the 
battle, as they knew the ground. They rode a short dis- 
tance by themselves, and reported that it was an excellent 
place to surround Fergurson' s army, as the shooting would 
all be up hill — that there would be no danger of our men 
destroying each other ; but doubted whether we had men 
enough to surround them. It was then instantly agreed 
on by all the officers, that we would attempt to surround 
our foes. They immediately began to arrange their men, 

34 King's Mountain Expedition. 

without stopping and assigning to each officer the part he 
was to take in surrounding the hill. By the time this was 
done, we were close to our enemy. The last whose duty 
was to be performed was Colonel William Graham with his 
men, who desired leave of absence, alleging that he had 
received certain intelligence that his wife was dying with 
colic, about sixteen miles off, near Armstrong's Ford, on 
the South Fork. Campbell stated to him that should be 
the greatest inducement for him to stay, that he could 
carry the news, and if we were successful, it would be to 
her as good as a dose of medicine. Graham exclaimed, 
'Oh my dear, dear wife! Must I never see her again?' 
Campbell, in an angry tone of voice, turned to Major 
Chronicle, and said, -Shall Colonel Graham have leave of 
absence?' To which Chronicle replied, 'It is woman's 
business, let him go/ Graham said he must have an 
escort — Chronicle told him he might have one ; Graham 
chose David Dickey. Dickey said he would rather be shot 
(in battle) than go. Chronicle said, 'Dave you must go.' 
Dickey said he 'would rather be shot on the spot ; but if 
I must go, I must.' Then Colonel Graham and Dickey 
immediately to the woods, and disappeared. 1 

"Campbell then mentioned to Chronicle that as Graham 
has gone, you must take his place ; turning to Colonel 
Hawbright, Campbell asked 'have you any objections?' 
He replied, that it was his wish, as Chronicle best knew 
the ground. Whereupon Chronicle called, 'come on, my 
South Fork boys,' and took the lead. 

"The hill was surrounded in a few minutes, and the bat- 

1 Colonel William Graham must not be confounded with Major (after- 
wards, General) Joseph Graham. They were not related to each other. 
Colonel Graham came from Augusta County, Virginia, and settled on the 
First Broad River, then Tryon, now Cleveland County He married Susan, 
daughter of William T witty. Previous to this battle, he had been a good 
soldier, an Indian Sighter. and was a popular man. See an honorable 
sketch of him in "Hunter's Sketches of North Carolina," p. 322. 

[This note was supplied bv Professor Draper or Schenck and Davidson, 

Historical Papers. 35 

tie commenced. Our enemies had two to onr one ; of course 
their lire was double that of ours. We killed 247 of them 
and they killed 143 of our side, agreeably to the account 
of E. Gilmer and Joseph Beany, supposed to be the most 
accurate of any. So that they having choice of ground we 
fought them two to one; we killed as many more of them 
as they killed of us, and took more prisoners than we had 
men to guard them. But we had not a coward to face the 
hill that day — they all faded off, until within ten minutes 
of the battle, the last coward left us. Our equals were 
scarce, and our superiors hard to find. 

"This is the most particular and accurate account, my 
friend, that I can give you. 

"Whereupon at the head of the Roundabout, I made a 
similar statement to our chain-bearers, pack-horse men, 
etc., Musendine Matthews made the following reply : 'Ah ! 
you would have been a formidable and destructive set of 
blue hen's chickens among eggs, if each one of you had 
been provided with a good stick. When any body pre- 
tends to tell the story of that transaction ; it would be to 
his credit to play the game of shut mouth.' 1 This elicited 
the following reply from General Joseph McDowell : 

" 'Before that battle (referring to Ferguson defeats, we had 
sustained two shameful and disastrous defeats — that of 
Gates by treachery ; and that of Sumpter by carelessness, 
in quick succession one after the other — upon which, the 
Tories flocked to the British camps, and increased their 
numbers to two or three fold ; that the county was over- 
run, and fairly delayed with them, so much that from the 
pressure of their numbers, the souls of the brave, from 
necessity were obliged to cower under its weight, and none 
but the bravest of the brave withstood the shock.' 

1 All we know about Mussentine Matthews is that he represented Iredell 
Comity in the Hous^ of Commons for 1789 to 1802 continuously. He was 
either a Tory or a Cynic, it seems. 

[This note was supplied by Professor Draper or by Schenck and David- 
son, (Henry)]. 


36 Historic Points on Cape Fear River. 


BY F. T. W. 

There is, perhaps, no part of the State that is annually 
visited by so large a number of tourists — usually excur- 
sionists — as the Cape Fear Section. From the first of 
July until the middle of September there is an average 
of one excursion each day. The visitors usually remain 
from home two days and nights if they are from the west- 
ern part of the State, reaching Wilmington between 12 and 
4 o'clock p. m., and leaving on their return trip the fol- 
lowing afternoon between 5 and 6 o'clock. If the train 
reaches Wilmington early enough, the excursionists go 
straight to Ocean View and return to spend the night in 
the city. On the following day the steamer Wilmington 
makes a trip to sea. If one wishes to get a definite idea of 
a few experiences of this on ring he can do no better than 
visit the lower and upper decks after it is all over. 

Before they have gotten far enough down the river to 
begin to long for their far away homes many interesting 
points are pointed out by the reliable captain who seems 
never to tire of the voyage between South Port and Wil- 
mington, having made fifteen thousand trips. 

About a mile below the wharf is a tree at a bend in the 
river standing out in full view. It is a cedar and is said to 
have borne the name 4i Dram Tree" for more than a century. 
For years it has stood as a land mark, telling the weary 
sailor that he is fast approaching his journey's end. As 
to how it derived its name there was an old tradition which 
says that a numer of sailors who had been compelled to 
land here on account of a storm could not resist the temp- 
tation which the cup of sack offered them. They tied 
their boat to this tree and could not leave until it was 
dark. They finally got off and began to row with all their 
power, doubtless thinking of reaching their far away 
homes. All night thev labored and toiled and when morn- 


Historical Papers. 37 

ing came, instead of finding themselves near home, they 
found that they had neglected the significant part of their 
work — that of untieing their boat. 

Eight miles below the Dram Tree is Big Island. The 
name given to it by the commissioners from the Barbadoes 
in 1663 was "Crane's Island." These commisioners were 
sent out to explore the ki Cape Fear Country'' and to find a 
good place for settlement. They found on Crane's Island 
the ruler of this country, the Indian Chief, Stat Coosa. 
From him they bought a considerable amount of land 
and were about to leave for their homes when an inci- 
dent rather embarrassing to one of the commissioners, 
Captain Hilton, occurred. The Indian Chief came out on 
their arrival and made a speech which was known to be 
peaceful from the nature of his gestures. Besides giv- 
ing the Barbadians supplies and selling them land the 
enthusiastic chief presented to Captain Hilton two of his 
daughters. They got on board his ship and refused to 
leave, merely shaking their heads at his entreaties. He 
finally got rid of them by promising his early return. The 
maidens watched in vain for the return of the Barbadians. 

Still further down the river can be seen an old pier which 
seems to have been beaten by the rough weather for years. 
It is the landing for Old Brunswick, the ruins of which 
are a half or three quarters of a mile back in the dense 
forest. Of this old town nothing remains save the ruins 
of the old church and a few graves. The Collonial Coun- 
sel often met here and Governor Johnson spent a consid- 
erable part of his time here. The church was built of 
brick brought from England. In 1751 the British Parlia- 
ment appropriated the funds secured by the capture of a 
pirate's vessel for the erection of this, St. Phillips' church, 
and also St. James' church of Wilmington. The walls 
are three feet thick and are standing as they were built a 
hundred and fifty years ago except where they have divided 
just over the main entrance. The Federal soldiers removed 

38 Historic Points on Cape Fear River. 

the corner-stone and papers in it after the capture of Fort 
Anderson which was near by. Though the grave stones 
were torn to pieces by the bombs from the battle at Fort 
Anderson, the walls of the church remained imshattered. 

Near Carolina Beach pier is a large grove which is 
known as "Gander's Hall." It derived its name from the 
fact that Mr. Mcll henry, who owned the place in 1830, 
wanted to raise some geese, and as he liked the white 
feathers much better bought only white fowls. After wait- 
ing a long time for them to lay he learned from one 
experienced in the poultry business that his birds were all 

Probably the most interesting point on the river is where 
Fort Fisher stood. It was used in the late war as a 
fortification for what was known as "New Inlet." From 
the situation it was one of the most important forts in the 
Confederate States. Whenever that was lost the entire 
southeastern part of North Carolina was in the hands of 
the Federals. There were only 1,900 men and 4-1 guns in 
the fort. It was not captured until J 865. When we con- 
sider that they had one mile of sea-force and one-half 
mile of land-force to defend against 10,000 Federals with 
600 heavy guns, and that the fort was not given up until 
the last shot was expended and 1.445 of the enemy had 
been killed, we see that it could not but have been a brave 
defense. Nothing except the fortifications remain and 
they present the appearance of sand hills. 

Just below the fort are "The Rocks." The Inlet has 
been closed and in accomplishing this it is said that enough 
rocks were used to build a wall eight by four feet from 
Wilmington to South Port, a distance of twenty-four miles. 

At the mouth of the river is Fort Caswell. Work was 
begun on this fort by the government in 1826. It was 
evacuated just after Fort Fisher fell. Just after this event 
the commander of the fort received orders to send his men 
back into the woods, so as to conceal them from the Fed- 

Historical Papers. 39 

erals. Later he received orders to blow up the magazines. 
The order came at 1 a. m., and the match was at once 
applied to trains which had been arranged. It is said that 
our magazine contained nearly 100,000 pounds of powder 
and when it exploded -'the earth trembled and shook" and 
the effects were felt at Wilmington and even as far up as 
Fayetteville, a distance of over a hundred miles. This site 
has recently been titled up with large disappearing guns, 
and in March Battery I, Second Regiment, U. S. Artillery, 
arrived there to hold the fort. 



PART 1.— 1818-1855. 
In the history of Xorth Carolina as in that of every 
Southern State, the years of ' 'Reconstruction' ? are the 
most crucial in the civilization and growth of a century. 
To the student of that period Governor W. W. Holden is 
the central figure, for he represents not only the dignity 
and authority of his native State, but also the restored 
authority of the United States. The natural complexities 
arising from his delicate position are augmented by his 
former relations to Xorth Carolina politics. So, for one to 
attempt to treat in an unbiased way his life and character 
within the short time of six years after his exit from the 
scenes of his brilliant but ill-fated career may seem to 
many at least an unwise and fruitless task. All the diffi- 
culties of such a work have been seriously considered 
in the preparation of this paper. Of a score of letters ad- 
dressed to as many men who were the contemporaries of 
Mr. Holden, less than one-half have been answered : less 
than one-half of these have furnished any definite data, 
while the remaining fourth convey little more than that 
the writers were his personal friends but know nothing of 
his history. But where the evidence of contemporaries 

40 William W. Holden. 

has failed the deficiency has been ably retrieved by 
files of the North Carolina Standard, and these inani- 
mate witnesses of the social and political conditions 
of the State during more than twenty years of its his- 
tory have spoken tomes for the energy and sagacity of 
their master and genius. What I wish to make plain is 
that no facts are here stated in the spirit of controversy or 
through the influence of personal opinion. My only aim 
has been to state facts as I find them, all of which may 
not be absolutely correct — for many stories of the '-Peace 
Movement" and '-Reconstruction" are yet to be overturned, 
a task well befitting the genius of any youthful Schlieman 
who shall unearth the hidden mysteries of those years. 
But "such as I have give I unto yon" in the faith and hope 
that the age of passion is passing away and a new era of 
reason — cold reason if you wish so to call it — is at hand, 
when events will be considered from their proper point -of - 
view, when he who chronicles the -'endless processions of 
the past" shall as the poet 

"In his separate star 
Draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They Are. " 

William Woods Hold en was born in the year 1818, in 
the county of Orange, near Hillsboro : and that historic 
town, the immutable witness of changes in civil and cul- 
turelife as they have come and gone for more than a century, 
was his home during the days of his early youth. When 
very young he became printer's devil in the office of Den- 
nis Heartt, the editor of the Hillsboro Recorder, who well 
earned the title '-Father of the Xorth Carolina Press," 
and so as apprentice had the advantage of the precepts and 
example of him who trained more young men for journal- 
ism than any other newspaper man in the State. All acc- 
ounts of these early years are meagre, as would be expected, 
but there are a few anecdotes and facts gathered here and 
there which exhibit some of those qualities so conspicuous 
in Holden's later life. One cold morning when about 

Historical Papers. 41 

twelve years old in making his round with his paper, the 
young apprentice reached the house of Mr. John Kiikland 
on the outskirts of Hillsboro and was asked into the din- 
ing room to warm. At the table sat a well dressed, 
handsome young man, fresh from laurels won at Chapel 
Hill, an extreme contrast to the ill-clad, bare-footed news- 
boy. "I looked at him," said Holden, many years later, 
"and thought how happy I would be if I had his opportu- 
nities, and then I thought what a gulf there is between us 
and how uneven are our chances in life. But I determined 
then and there that I would keep pace with him in life's 
struggle." When he went to leave the lady of the house 
said to him, "Wait, and get a biscuit" — then the young 
man, at her command, buttered a biscuit and gave it to 
Holden, and as the destitute boy resumed his morning work 
his determination became a vow. In 1868 Holden was elected 
Governor over Thomas Ashe, the young man who buttered 
his biscuit that crisp morning thirty years before. At 
another time the apprentice ran away from his master. Mr. 
Heartt, according to custom, advertised in his paper threat- 
ening with the penalty of the law those who should harbor 
the runaway, and offered five cents reward for his apj)re- 
hension. By chance Holden saw the notice, secretly 
returned by night and changed the form of the Recorder 
so that when the next issue appeared the public was noti- 
fied that the Recorder and its editor were for sale, and 
both might be had for the sum of fifty cents. At the same 
time that the boy altered the type, he scratched upon the 
desk the words, "from this day I will be a man. " The 
apprentice returned and a reconciliation took place between 
master and servant. These legends of the boy are charac- 
teristic of the man, showing traits that were his during 
the whole of his long and eventful career — a restless dis- 
satisfaction with his environment, an ambition to make 
himself the peer of his fellows, and in the advertisement 

42 William W. Holden. 

story are seen the germs of a power of repartee which served 
him well as political editor. 

Mr. Holderrs hardships made him the friend of all young 
men who came under his influence but he rarely spoke in 
detail of his early life. Once only, in 18GS, at a banquet 
given to all the employees who had ever served in the 
Standard office, do we find him telling of his apprentice- 
ship. At the age of sixteen, he says, he left Hillsboro 
and went to Milton, walking the thirty miles with only his 
small bundle of personal belongings for company. In 
Milton he got employment with Nathaniel J. Palmer, 
editor of the Chronicle, and after working four months 
went to Danville. Here he wrote his first article for the 
press, which he slipped under the door of the editorial 
rooms. Two days later his contribution was published and 
he walked the streets '-the proudest boy in the town of 
Danville." In a year he returned to Hillsboro, -'restless 
but not dissipated, and full of enterprise and ambition." 
He then worked in a store, spending all his extra time 
in study, laying the foundations of that broad culture which 
ranks him among the best literary men the State has pro- 

Scon dissatisfied with his work in Hillsboro, he went to 
Raleigh, arriving in the city "one bright moon-light night 
from the town of Hillsboro on an old-fashioned stage with 
four horses and a horn blowing as we neared the town, 
with seven dollars of silver in my pocket, knowing no per- 
son in Raleigh, in debt in Hillsborough one hundred and 
fifty dollars, mainly for a gold watch that I bought on 
credit, and also for a broadcloth coat for which I had prom- 
ised to pay three dollars per yard." There were then 
three newspapers in Raleigh : the Register, the organ of 
the Whig Party, and edited by Weston R. G-ales : the 
Standard, the organ of the Democratic Party, under the 
control of Philo White, "editor and State Printer." and 
Thomas Loring, "publisher and proprietor;" and the Star, 

Historical Papers. 43 

a Whig paper, published by Thomas J. Lemay. In the 
office of the latter Holden found employment, being recom- 
mended to the editor by several articles written while still 
in Hillsborough. He remained in the Star office over lour 
years, receiving eight dollars a week, high wages for a 
printer in those days, working in summer from sun to sun. 
in winter often till midnight. All his available time was 
spent in reading law and in 1S41 he appeared before the 
Supreme Court and was admitted to the bar with twenty 
other young men. The examination was held by Jiui 
Ruffin, Daniel and Gaston. During the examination 
Judge Gaston asked Holden a question. Holdeu answered 
and Gaston said, " Young man, that is correct." Judge 
Daniel objected, saying, ''Brother Gaston, I am not so 
sure of that." Then followed a learned discussion to the 
edification of the class, in the end neither being converted 
to his opponents view. Doubtless the point in question 
remains unsettled to-day as it concerned an estate in entail 
under certain conditions. 

In politics he was a Whig, true to the backings of 
' 'Father' ' Heartt and Mr. Lemay . In the campaign of 1840, 
the year that marks the maturity of the Whig ascendency, 
Holden made his first political speeches, declaring from 
the log cabins the many virtues of "Tippacanoe and Tyler 
too. ? ' Though Henry Clay failed to secure the p residential 
nomination of his party and, on the death of Harrison, was 
made distinctively to understand by Tyler that the sceptre 
was no longer in his hands, the JS"orth Carolina Whigs 
remained his ardent and devoted supporters. In 1842 he 
came to Raleigh and the admiration and loyalty of the 
Ultra-Whig element made his visit a series of gala-days. 
The women spun kerchiefs, fine linen, hosiery, and all lux- 
uries of dress known to the female mind which they laid 
as tribute at the feet of their idealized hero to manifest their 
faith in his Tariff measures and the superiority of American 
to foreign manufactures. The men held barbecues and 

44 William W. Holden. 

made speeches, and Holden was among the most enthusi- 
astic. "When I speak of Henry Clay I feel like pouring 
out my whole heart," he said, and he wrote some ardent 
paragraphs for the Register and Star in testimony of his 

So the Whigs were in the ascendency and despite the 
efforts of the Democrats the Whigs again won the State in 
1842 by over two thousand majority. Philo White had 
left the State in 1837 and Loring had poorly supported Van 
Buren in 1840. What must be done? With a party 
organ conducted by a weakhearted editor little could be 
done against such opponents as Lemay and Gales. A 
change of editors was determined on and a secret meeting 
of the leading Democrats was held to choose Loring' s suc- 
cessor. One of the most prominent young men in the 
party was James B. Shepherd. He had read the contribu- 
tions of the little dark-haired apprentice "Bill" Holden, 
and recognized their literary value. So he proposed the 
name of Holden as the most promising man to take charge 
of the Democratic organ. The suggestion was received 
with derision, but Shepherd persisted and finally gained 
his point. The proposition was made to Holden, he ac- 
cepted, and in June 1843 formally entered upon his duties 
as editor of the Standard. What must have been the 
surprise and chagrin of the Whigs when they read in the 
organ of their opponents the announcement that W. W. 
Holden. in the past one of their most promising adherents, 
schooled from his boyhood in the principles of Whiggery, 
their associate in the Clay celebrations of the presidency 
year, had assumed editorial control of the Standard, and 
would conduct the paper on its old political principles, 
that he declared he had ever been at heart a "Democratic 
Republican of the school of '98 and '99," that he was now 
a Democrat because the members of that party "have 
always approved themselves the friends and supporters of 
equal rights ; because they have ever been, and are now, 

Historical Papers. 45 

the advocates of the many against the few; because whilst 
they yield to the Federal Government the exercise of its 
acknowledged and undoubted constitutional powers, they 
at the same time guard with peculiar vigilance the freedom, 
sovereignty, and independence of the respective States. ' ' 
He declared himself opposed to all taxation beyond the 
needs of the government, to a national debt, distribution 
of public lands, and i; in fine, to all the projects, measures, 
and principles of the modern Whig Party." In conclu- 
sion he refuses to support Van Buren for re-nomination 
as Presidential candidate, believing that there are others 
in the party "entitled to equal consideration and regard.-' 
This declaration cf Democratic principles does not inter- 
est us because it is the jjlatform of one party for one 
campaign. But the issues stated lie far deeper than the 
passions of the hour. They express in the most emphatic 
manner the constitutional basis of one-half the American 
people at that time. In them breaths the spirit of nullifi- 
cation of 1832 which culminated in Secession in 1861. 

A satisfactory explanation of Holden's change of polit- 
ical affiliations has never been made by friend or enemy. 
The charge that his separation from the party of his bene- 
factors, Heartt and Lemay, was a deliberate breach of 
faith actuated by desire for personal aggrandizement can 
hardly be justified by facts. For at this time the Whigs 
held the State by a largo majority and Holden stood well 
in the estimation of the leading Whig citizens of Raleigh.* 
In 1841 he had married Miss Anne Young, a niece of the 
founder of Peace Institute, and this alliance further estab- 
lished his relation in political and social life. Moreover 
the pecuniary condition of the Standard was not at all 

^Standard, November. 1841: "The North Carolina Temperance Conven- 
tion met on November 1. Jno. H. Mebane, of Greensboro, was elected 
President. Rev. Hezekiah G. Leigh, Vice-President, and Lemay, Jesse 
Brown and Holden, Clerks." 

Standard, April 13, 1842: "W. W. Holden, Esq., has been appointed 
assignee in bankruptcy for the county of Wake." 

46 William W. Hold en. 

inviting, especially to one whose finances were not in the 
most prosperous state. Loring was State Printer and re- 
ceived only nine hundred dollars per year for his servi' 
the result was that the Printer lost on an average one 
thousand dollars on each year's work which was patiently 
endured as a matter of professional pride. Also the paper 
had less than eight hundred subscribers, only one-half of 
whom were cash paying and the advertisers were almost 
the masters of the editor. Then he was compelled to haz- 
ard the risk of borrowing funds with which to buy the 
Standard' s outlit. He first secured five hundred dollars 
from Shepherd and then approached Duncan Cameron, 
President of the old State Bank, and asked for a loan of 
two thousand dollars. Now Loring had turned the Stand- 
ard 'against the Banks, advocating a mixed currency and 
Mr. Cameron knew that the Standard would continue to 
advocate a '•hard-money'' currency. But upon Holden's 
application the money was handed over without hesitancy, 
the President of the Bank encouraging the creditor in 
his venture. "You will find," he said, "that the surest, 
if not the quickest and most permanent and certain road 
to power in this country, is that of the press. It may 
not be so now, but in my judgment in future years it 
will be so. . . . My advice is, as you have chosen the 
press, to abandon all idea of the law." The result was 
that "the Bank being on one side and the paper on the 
other, through the liberality of Mr. Cameron'' Holden re- 
ceived the necessary funds which made success possible to 

It is also more than probable that Holden was influenced 
by a real change of political opinions. The divisions in 
his party, due to the rivalry of Tyler and Clay, doubtless 
caused him to examine more seriously than before his reas- 
ons for supporting Whiggery, and very likely at the crit- 
ical moment, Loring, who had been a close friend, 

*Standard, August 23, 1S68. 

Historical Papers. 47 

stepped in and the victory was won for the Democrats. 
Perhaps he was coming under the influence of his later 
chieftain, that greatest of political magicians, Calhoun. 
At least his conversion was not so sudden as might be 
expected from the events related, for he tells us that '-at 
the time of the purchase, in June 1843, and months pre 
ceding it, it is well known to his immediate personal 
friends, though he took no active part in political affairs, 
that he was out and out with the Democratic Party."* 

But it is not necessary to continue at length a discussion 
of the hidden motive. Some events in history, like certain 
experiences of the individual, must often be considered as 
valuable in themselves aside from their causes. Suffice it 
for us that the results of Holden's alliance with his former 
opponents, viewed from the standpoint of subsequent 
issues, far exceed in importance any consideration of the 
personal incentive. . 

The campaigns of the next year demand the attention of 
the student of national politics, for they mark the culmi- 
nation of Clay's brilliant but ineffective political activities. 
They interest him who reads the history of Xorth Carolina 
because a new leader appears who meets the challenge of 
the Whigs with a courage dauntless as that of Gales or 
Graham. Xew life is infused into the ranks of the Dem- 
ocrats and the Whigs are none too confident of the future. 
The center of the State campaign is a secret letter from the 
Whig State committee to their constituents urging them 
to vigorous action. The Democrats are charged as ; 'degen- 
erating into a mere faction," trying to carry '-this State 
for Texas and Disunion." "If by any means an appar- 
ent majority is returned for Polk and Dallas, nothing but 

^Standard. June 28, 1854. 

Standard, January 19. 1842: A notice of the removal of Holden's law- 
office "to No. 5 in the bmMing of B. B. Smith, Esq.. on Fayetteville street." 
From this it is evident that he had severed connection with Leinay more 
than one year before he became editor of the Standard. 

48 William W. Holden. 

revolution can lielp us." In order that Clay and Graham, 
the Whig candidate for Governor, be elected and the State 
preserved, all loyal Whigs are called upon to attend the 
poles, see their fellow-men the day before the election and 
impress upon them the importance of the issues at stake, 
challenge doubtful votes and prevent Democratic frauds, 
and in general warn the people against the political false- 
hoods of the opposition. This circular was signed by 
Richard Hines, chairman; George E. Badger, Charles 
Manly, John H. Bryan, Henry W. Miller and Weston R. 

This letter, exposed by Holden, into whose hands a copy 
fell by accident, became a battle-cry of the enraged Dem- 
ocrats and was copied by their press far and near. The 
following from the Tarborongh Press illustrates the zeal 
with which the above imputations were repudiated : 



"We earnestly call the attention of every voter in the county to the 
following infamons circular, issued by the Federal Coon Central Com- 
mittee in Raleigh. Read it. Hand it about among your neighbors — rouse 
up the people from their lethargy — rebuke the imputations of these foul 
Federal slanderers and strike one more blow for God, Liberty, and the 
Constitution. . . . Get on your horses and scour the country from one 
end to the other. . . . Let the indignant thunder of the Edgecombe 
Democracy be heard reverberating in the mountains of Buncombe. God 
save the country from such an infamous party." 

Holden's sense of humor and dexterity in epigrammatic 
ridicule found expression in many columns of political 
satire. A very good example is the following : 

• 'Gapes in chickens may be easily cured by giving them small crumbs of 
bread impregnated with a little soft soap; once or twice is sufficient." — 
Ral-eigh Star. 

"And gapes in coons may be easily cured by giving them small doses of 
Polk -juice in little soft pieces of Clay. This physic will cure them by 
killing them outright; 'once' will do." 

But the climax was reached when his burlesque on the 

Historical Papsbs. 49 

leading Whigs appeared, the most piquant attack of the 
campaign : 


"The substantial packet schooner Scavenger will sail by order of the people 
of the United States for the head waters of Salt River during the month of 
November. She carries out as a passenger the Honorable Henry Clay who. 
after having sought office at the hands of the said people for more than 
twenty years, has at length received the appointment of Collector of Cus- 
toms at the head waters of said river, at which point it is expected he will 
prove in his official capacity, that high tariffs make cheap goods. He will 
carry out a strong corps of surveyors, tide-waiters, bumbailifs, etc. ; and as 
the country is new and unsettled, it is thought that these officers will find 
constant employment. The following appointments have already been 
made: Surveyors, Millard Fiimore, of New York, and General Markle, of 
Pennsylvania; Berreen, of Georgia, and Morehead, of North Carolina. 
Tide- Waiters, Stanly. Cherry, and Palmer, of North Carolina, and Pleas- 
ants, of Virginia. Bumboat Women, Messrs. Mangum and Badger, of 
North Carolina. These last appointments are considered peculiarly appro- 
priate. Mr. Mangum. it is thought, will sing three times a day, a song of 
thankfulness for having been delivered from Mr. Edmunds, of Virginia. 
while Mr. B. will serve as a beacon by standing at the mouth of Old Salt 
every night with a mammoth cigar in his mouth. The collector, it is pre- 
sumed, will permit him to while away the long hours by untiring threats 
of 'revolution' to intimidate the bats and owls."* 

Notwithstanding the vigorous opposition of Holden and 
the other Democrats, the Whigs carried the State. Graham 
defeating Hoke by over three thousand majority. But 
Clay was defeated and an appropriate celebration with 
martial ceremonies demonstrated the elation of the Dem- 
ocrats over their national victory. They met in capital 
square, built bonfires and fired a military salute of thirteen 
guns, then proceeded down Payetteville street to the 
residence of Senator Haywood, where cannon were fired and 
three cheers given for Polk and Dallas, Wright, Texas and 
Oregon. Senator Haywood then appeared and told the 
people that instead of speaking himself he would introduce 
Master Stuart White, a lad nine years old. The boy then 
addressed the company ki in a style which would have 
honored a much older head." The procession theu went 

* Standard, October 30, 1844. 


50 William W. Holden. 

to the home of Louis I). Henry, chairman of the State 

Democratic Committee, "and also to the dwellings of (run- 
em! Saunders and James B. Shepherd, Esq., with music 
and loud shouts for Polk, Dallas, Texas, and Oregon." 

When they dispersed is not told.* 

Such is the story of a campaign in the South tiftv years 

■J L O «. *■ 

ago. It was an age when all that was noblest and worth 
the striving after in this world centered in public life. 
Politics alone gave homogeneity to all classes of society. 
Every one, the rich planter at the watering places, the 
gentry at the monthly courts and the militia meets, even 
the slave in the cotton and rice fields, dreamed of an ideal 
existence where each, through the gift of oratory as well as 
of intellect, should be victor in a thousand and one political 
contests and might frame legislative enactments ; -world with- 
out end." Compared with the civilization of to-day. 
society was primitive and would hardly be recognized as 
the antecedent of modern culture. The Xorth Carolina 
Railroad had not yet been constructed and all traffic with 
the west was by means of the stage and ox cart. Raleigh 
and Hillsboro were as far from each other in point of con- 
venience as either is to-day from New York. There was 
little interest in internal improvements and in 1848 the 
appropriation for the railway from Danville to Charlotte 
was defeated because such a road would turn traffic from 
Xorth Carolina seaports. There were no factories and the 
prejudices of the ultra Southerners often taxed the man- 
ufacturing skill of the good housewives. Yet many things 
appeal to the sympathies of us who live amid the •• weari- 
ness, the fever, and the fret" of these modern days with a 
charm unknown to our generation. The freedom of expres- 
sion in the }>re<s j . a contrast to the complicated insinuations 
of modern journalism. Rev. Thomas Loring could publish 
a dissertation on "Whig Lies" under fourteen heads and 
still command the respect and esteem of all who knew him. 

*Standard, November 14. 1844. 

Historical Papers. 51 

The satires of Holden. the endless bickerings with Gales 
and Heartt, and the essays and poems in fche vt old school'" 
style give to these papers a flavor that reminds ns of Swift 
or Addison. Then tfbore all looms the tio-ure of Henry 
Clay, politician, statesman, ami cavalier, as he appears in 
the campaign of *44, escorted in a landau throiurh the streets 
of Raleigh by fche enthusiastic Whigs, swaying his audience 
in Capital Square with a magic of words unsurpassed in 
American oratory, ami aged as he was, standing for hours 
at the grand reception held at the Governor's Mansion and 
greeting the hundreds of women and children "with a kiss 
and kind word for all.** These reveal to us the chivalry 
of the past and tell us that the virtues of our fathers live in 
their children, and lend to the period the charm of an 
eighteenth century romance. 

The attack on Whig leaders and principles continued 
unabated throughout the next year. Early in 1846 the 
Democratic Convention assembled and chose Green W. 
Caldwell as candidate for Governor. Mr. Caldwell refused 
the nomination and James B. Shepherd was appointed by 
the Executive Committee to till his place. His opponent 
was Governor Graham, who was re-elected by a majority of 
seven thousand .* 

It was evident that a crisis was at hand. The Whig major- 
ity in '46 exceeded that of '42 by four thousand, and if the 
Democrats were to secure the State, now was the time for 
action. There must be some diversion to check the 
increasing Whig sentiment. At this critical time appears 
a new issue that lies at the basis of all representative 
government, and in its champion a new leader enters into 
Xorth Carolina politics. The principle is that of free 
suffrage and its exponent is David Settle Reid, of Rocking- 
ham county. Better to comprehend the social and elective 
status a brief review of the civil government of our State 
is necessary. 

""This year Holden was member of Commons for Wake County, 

r>2 William \Y. Holden. 

North Carolina has always been remarkable for its con- 
servative spirit ami the secret of this conservatism is found 
in the old colonial government. The chief magistrate was 
the Royal -Governor, who appointed the Justices of Hie 
Peace in the several comities. These officers submitted 
three nam^s t<> the Governor, one of whom he appointed 
Sheriff. The Sheriff collected taxes, executed court decrees, 
and held the elections for members oi the Assembly. The 
result was that the .Justices of the Peace and the Sheriffs 
soon formed a special caste, and through the influence of 
their official positions made their nominations for Assem- 
blymen and usually carried the elections, in this way 
there arose an aristocracy that virtually controlled the 
colony. Such a government was for the best so long as 
the character of its citizens was as varied as the settle- 
ments. When the last colonial Governor left in 17TG there 
were two methods by which the government might be 
continued, popular election or a continuation of the old 
system. The latter seemed best because the country was 
so full of Tories that the people could not be trusted to 
remain faithful to the other colonies, and also the members 
of the Assembly were unwilling to see the power depart 
from them. So under the new Constitution the Governor 
and the Judges were elected by the Assembly, and to in- 
sure conservative representation the Senate was placed under 
the control of the landholders, and only landholders were 
eligible to represent the people either in Senate or Com- 
mons. The law required that a State Senator must own 
300 acres and to vote in a senatorial election a man must 
own 50 acres in the county where he voted. A representa- 
tive in Commons must own loo acres and all persons who 
had paid taxes were allowed to vote. So well did these 
arrangements work that no change was made until 1SS5, 
when a constitutional convention disfranchised the free 
negro and made the election of Governor popular. State 
Senators were still elected by the property holders. Oppo- 

Historical Papkrs. 5:3 

sition to this law was made the basis of th^ campaign of 

It is uot known who originated the idea o£ making free- 
suffrage the issue. The Law had never been popular with 
the non-landholders. In 1842 a meeting was held in Lenoir 
county protesting against the property qualification, and 
a letter was addressed to Louis \). Henry, who was the 
county's representative in the Legislature. About the 
same time Green \Y. Caldwell brought the matter before 
the Assembly, bur it was unfavorably received. Mr. Reid, 
who was then a member of Congress, had either written or 
spoken in opposition to the condition of suffrage.! So the 
issue was not to take the State by surprise. Perhaps it 
was Stephen A. Douglas who suggested to Holden the new 
plan for the opposition. All we know is that Holden, 
before the Democratic convention met, sent a special mes- 
senger to bring Reid to Raleigh for consultation. The 
result was that through Holden's influence Reid received 
the nomination for Governor, He refused to accept unless 
a free-suffrage clause was inserted iu the platform. The 
Democrats feared this would cause a division of the party. 
but finally consented. Perhaps they were urged to accept 
the amendment by Douglas himself, who was present, and 
addressed the convention on the national issues "for nearly 
two hours with a style and force of logic never equalled in 
that hall, and with such eloquence as drew tears from the 
eyes of many in the vast multitude about him." Sam 
Houston, then Senator from Texas, spoke another evening, 
being introduced as "the laurelled hero of San Jacinto," 
and of course defended the Mexican war. Among the 
resolutions adopted was one declaring that "Congress has 
no control, directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately, 
over the institution of slavery, and that we are opposed to 

*"Suii'rage in the State of North Carolina," by Prof. J. S. Bassett. Am. 
His. Ass'n Report, i89f>. 

fLetter from John Nichols, Esq., Raleigh, N. O. 

54 William W. Bold en. 

the Wilmot, Winthrop, or Webster proviso in whatever 
shape it may be presented." in the same year Holden 
was the delegate to the national convention which met In 
Baltimore. The VVilmof Proviso was the principle qaea 
tion before that body. The "Barnburners" farored fclie 
Proviso and thus "opposed the constitutional rights of the 
South/' The "Old Hunkers" fought the measure. Holden 
favored the non-interference with shivery in the territories. 

The campaign was fought in a most energetic manner, 
with Holden at fehe press and Reid on the stump. The 
result was thai Charles Manly, the Whig candidate, was 
elected by the small majority of 854. The Democrats 
were greatly encouraged. Prom this time Holden was 
recognized as a great political leader. In 1850 Reid and 
Manly were renominated. So strong was the sentiment in 
favor of free-suffrage that Manly refused to make it the 
Whig issue. Reid was elected by two thousand majority 
and the Whigs never again controlled the State. In 185*2 
Reid was re-elected. He is the only one who has ever been 
candidate for Governor three times in succession. Vance 
was thrice a candidate, but not in succession. Free suf- 
frage, after a long tight in the Legislature, triumphed in 

From this time till I860 the State was under the control 
of the Democrats. Interest centers not in State politics, 
but in the National issues. Holden was an ultra-South- 
erner, a follower of Calhoun, and every editorial on slavery 
indicates directly or indirectly the condition of public 
sentiment. In 1849 Holden w r as among those who advo- 
cated a Southern Assembly to express formally the South' s 
position on slavery, believing that to be the "only course 
to preserve the Union and. save the State from accumu- 
lated aggression and insult. v 

"We speak as a citizen, not as a partisan. We love the Union, but we 
love North Carolina, her "vital interests and her untarnished honor more. 
We would surrender all but these to preserve the Union; surrendering 

Historical Papers. 55 

these, we should announce our willingness to nee the State a victim <»f con- 
solidation and absolute sectional power, and should prove fal«e t<> our 
native land." 

In commenting upon Calhoun's last speech in the United 
States Senate, he says too much stress is laid on tlip balance 
of classes, the l * equilibrium" 1 between the States, and 
regards the allusion to a constitutional amendment recog- 
nizing slavery as unfortunate, for the people have always 
contended for the constitution as it is, fairly, equitably, 
aud honestly administered. Tn 1851 he thus expresses his 
conception of secession : 

"We hold the right of secession as an original, pre-existing, reserved 
sovereign right; that whenerer the Constitution is palpably violated by 
Congress or whenever that body fails to carry out th* 1 plain prorisions of 
that instrument when required to protect Southern rights, the Union is 
dissolved, and that by a sectional majority" -not until then has th< j .Mate 
the right to look to "a separate, independent existence. '' He calls on Leg 
islature to pass resolutions demanding rights of the State and settlement 
of slavery. — (January 15.) 

In 1854 appeared this editorial on the growth of aboli- 
tionism : 

"We verily believe that the worst spirit now out of perdition is the spirit 
of abolition. It is a compound of ignorance, bigotry, envy, hatred and all 
uncharitableness. It professes to know even better than the slave does 
what is best for his own good, for in his case as in others the slave wa.s torn 
from the owner and forced into freedom." — (September 6.) 

In the meantime the ranks of the Democrats were divid- 
ing into two wings. The movement culminated in the 
convention of 1858. Col. Edward Cantley, a friend of 
Holden, arose and niov^d that as the Democracy of the 
State was present, the convention resolve itself into a mass 
meeting and nominate candidate for Governor. Holden and 
Judge JohnW. Ellis, of Rowan county, were rivals for the 
nomination. Holden was undoubtedly the choice of the 
rank and tile, but Ellis received the nomination by a small 
majority. Moore says the party recognized Holden's 
ability, but disliked his agrarianism and distrusted his 
good faith. Such a statement is misleading. Holden's 

56 William \V. Hold Elf. 

good faith could hardly be questioned, for he had revolu- 
tionized the polities of the State. When he took charge 
of the Standard the Democrats were in the minority and 

were regarded as "scalawags," tqr they were opposed to 
all internal improvements and to progress in general. He 
changed the attitude of the party in 184j8 not only in 
regard to free suH'rage, but he was instrumental in secur- 
ing the appropriation for the North Carolina Railroad. 
From this time the Democrats were recognized as the 
advocates of internal improvement. When the Know 
Nothing party appeared and threatened a dissolution of 
his party. Holden remained faithful, and through his 
efforts the State was saved from the domination of that 
movement. Perhaps the real cause of his defeat in 1858 
was social, not political. He had always been the friend 
of the common people and took advantage of every' oppor- 
tunity to destroy the aristocratic influence that had 
prevailed in the State since colonial times, as his policy iu 
1848 towards suffrage and in 18.60 towards taxation demon- 
strate. In this sense only was he agrarian. That the 
division of \S^$ was social may be verified by the following 
from the Raleigh Register : 

"The lawyers and upper crust generally are for Ellis, while the unwashed 
multitude are for Holden. We think he is entitled to the nomination and 
are of opinion that it would be a burning shame if one who has spent his 
life in making great, big men out of the very smallest sort of material 
should be refused the reasonable reward which he so urgently seeks." 

Be these things as they may, Holden firmly believed 
that his defeat was due to the unfair schemes of his 
enemies. He does not publish' the proceedings of the 
convention and little is known of the transactions of that 
body. He supported Kilts, who was elected. But the 
convention of 185S marks one of the critical points in 
Holden\s career and so is an important event in the history 
of his party. 

Historic: a i, Papers. 57 

PART II.— Secession and Peace Movement. 

The year 1858 was one of the most critical in the history 
of the Democratic Party in North Carolina, for it marks 
the beginning of that disintegration of party unity which 
proved so disastrous in 1800. The rivalry of Ellis and 
Holdenis not the only omen of the impending crisis. CoL 
Duncan MacRae opposed Ellis for Governor, differing with 
the majority of his party in regard to the distribution of 
the proceeds of public land sales. In the same year Moses 
A. Bledsoe, of Wake County, introduced a new issue into 
the politics of the State. The only tax on slave property 
was a poll of forty cents. Originally the amount of this 
tax was the same as that on three hundred acres of land. 
Many changes of course had been made, as any effort to 
regulate taxation by a hind basis must prove a failure so 
lon^r as the value or land varies. In 1858 the tax on real 
estate was twelve cents on each valuation of three hundred 
dollars. This law was unpopular with the small landhol- 
ders : it was claimed that the proportion of revenue yield- 
ed by the land owner when compared with that assessed on 
slave holders was excessive. In Wake county Mr. Bled- 
soe was a candidate for the Democratic nomination to the 
State Senate. He was opposed to the existing condition 
of taxation and advocated an ad valor e in system, demand- 
ing that slave property be taxed on its face value. As 
most of the slave owners were Democrats, he lost the nom- 
ination, but opposed the regular nominee, Geo. W. Thomp- 
son, on an independent ticket. Mr. Bledsoe, after one of 
the most brilliant campaigns in the history of the State. 
was elected. Mr. Holden. though at heart in sympathy 
with the ad valorem men. remained true to his party and 
opposed the measure and its advocates. But in 1859 a 
Standard, reporter was refused admittance to a Democratic 
meeting in Raleigh. The division in the party was deeper 
than conformity to platform clauses could mend. 

These dissentions led Holden to consider the tendencies 


58 William W. TToldew 

of -those doctrines which had actuated his party for so many 
years. The result was that from 1868 to 1800, the National 
issues are not so prominent in the "Standard" editorials, 
and in the latter year Holden, who had been regarded as an 
"extreme Democrat of the Calhoun school." renounced his 
previous professions and appeared as an open enemy to re- 
cession and friend to the Union of the Stares. This second 
change of party affiliations naturally brought upon him the 
condemnation of his former allies. But in this act of ap- 
parent perfidy he shows himself to be a most careful and 
and profound student. He is in many resi)ects the Talley- 
rand of North Carolina politics. Like the French states- 
man, he entered life under many disadvantages, renounced 
the associations of his youth, and was one of the leaders in 
that social as well as political revolution which destroyed 
the old regime and placed all citizens on a common basis 
of suffrage. Within a few years he had become the 
leading political diplomatist of his State: and now 
that he had taken the important step of adopting a new 
policy and principle, he might say Tallyrand-like. that he 
never deserted his party till it had deserted the true inter- 
ests of the Nation for those of a section, that he neither 
served this government or that, and never considered the 
interests of any party before those of his country. But 
this change was not, from a party standpoint, so radical as 
that of 1843, for many of the Democrats besides Holden 
were true Union men, and always declared that they rep- 
resented the real Democratic Party and that the secession- 
ists were the bolters. Yet secession was the logical con- 
clusion of the Democratic platforms of the past, and 
members of that party were the authors of the Confederacy. 
In 1S60 Governor Ellis was renominated for office by the 
Democrats. Mr, Holden abandoned his previous attitude 
towards taxation, and joined the ad valorem wing of that 
party. John Pool was nominated in opposition to Ellis, 
but was defeated. The cause of ad calorem taxation was 

Historical Papers. 59 

lost in the Union, but it became the legal system for slave 
taxation daring the Confederacy. 

In the same year Mr. Holden was one of the North Car- 
olina delegates to the famous Charleston Convention. The 
account of the proceedings of that assembly, taken from 
his private memoirs, not only describes North Carolina's 
position on the great issue of that time, but is also a val- 
uable sidelight on the condition of feeling throughout the 
South. It proceeds as follows : 

"In the winter of ISOO-'Gl, a State Convention of the 
Democratic Party was held in Raleigh, and delegates were 
appointed to a National Convention to be held in Char- 
leston, to nominate candidates for President and Vice- 

''The delegates appointed to represent the State, were: 
Bedford Brown, William S. Ashe, Waightstill W. Avery, 
and W. W. Holden. I travelled to Charleston with Hon. 
Bedford Brown. I found Hon. R. P, Dick there already. 

'•And here commences a most important sketch of my 
history. I had been acting for a long time with the States 
Rights Party, (not of the Yanceyites) but was in accord 
with Jackson, Van Buren, and Bedford Brown. I was 
a State delegate and had a right to speak for the State 
with Messrs. Ashe, Avery, and Brown. I was jealous for 
the so-called rights of the South, on the question of slavery, 
and greatly concerned at the apparently impending elec- 
tion of a sectional candidate for Presidency. But I was 
not a Secessionist nor a Revolutionist. I was strongly at- 
tached to the Union of the States, and felt myself to be a 
National man. But for what I saw and heard, I might 
have gone with my party and been a Secessionist. 

"When I reached Charleston I was taken aside by a 
friend in whom I had full confidence, who said, -Holden, I 
know you want to do right ; I have been here for a day. 
and I have information of a purpose on the part of some 
of our Southern friends to dissolve the Union.' I was 

60 William W. Holdk.w 

greatly surprised and concerned. He said to me, 'I give 
yoa to-night to listen and learn, and in the morning tell 
me what you think, and what your purpose is.' 

"The night of the day on which we all reached Charles- 
ton, we held a meeting in our delegation room and Mr. 
Senator Bayard of Delaware presided. A motion was 
made to appoint a committee from our delegation to visit 
the Southern delegations, and confer with them, mainly 
because some of them were natives of North Carolina. 
This motion was opposed by Bedford Brown, R. P. Dick, 
and myself, and voted down. We maintained that it 
would be a sectional act and under the circumstances 
would be improper. And there I saw the cropping out of 
the purpose of which my friend had just warned me. 
Colonel Bedford Brown had just said to me. 'Mr. Holden, 
our delegation has very properly decided not to send 
officially any one to visit the Southern delegates, but we 
can go as individuals to a great meeting to be held to-night, 
near this place on Charleston Street, I propose to go, will 
you go?' William A. Moore of Edenton was standing by, 
and said he would go too. The meeting was held upstairs 
in a very large room which was filled. I heard several 
speeches and they were all for disunion, save the short 
speech made by Colonel Bedford Brown. Mr. William L. 
Yancey of Alabama spoke first, for a considerable time. 
He was followed by Mr. Glenn, Attorney General of 
Mississippi. Colonel Brown then took the floor, being 
called out by Mr. Glenn who was his kinsman. He made 
a conservative Union speech, and was interrupted, and 
scraped, and laughed down. An Arkansas Militia General 
whose name I have forgotten, and who was unknown in 
the conllct between the North and South, replied to Colo- 
nel Brown, and ridiculed his views, amid general and 
vehement applause. Colonel Brown then turned to me 
and said, -Mr. Holden, let us shake off the dust from our 
feet, of this disunion conventicle and retire. 7 

Historical Papers. 61 

"We returned to the Charleston Hotel, and very soon a 
large crowd with a band of music appeared at the front oi 

the hotel. Speaking was going on at various points, and 
presently, some bold fellow in front of the hotel shouted, 
'Three cheers for the Star Spangled Banner!' and lied for 
his life. The reply was from the crowd, ^Baran the Star 
Spangled Banner, tear it down.' 

"The next morning I told my friend who had warned me 
of the danger of disunion, and of bolting the body, that 
my mind was made up, and that I would stand by the 
American Union at all hazards and to the last extremity. 
A few days afterwards while the vote was going on, and 
while South Carolina and Georgia and Mississippi and 
Florida and Arkansas and other States south of us were 
bolting, another friend of mine, Mr. R. C. Pearson, of 
Burke, approached me from the rear, and said to me most 
earnestly, 'You must make a speech and hold our delega- 
tions against going out. ' He had come for me through 
the Virginia delegation who sat in the rear. ; For' said he, 
'from what I have heard, if our delegates go out. Virginia 
will go out also, and the Convention will be broken up.' 
I said, 'Mr Pearson, I am not in the habit of speaking very 
often— there are 600 delegates here, and a vast audience 
besides — it would be a piece of assurance on my part, to 
attempt to address this body at this time, especially 
amid this excitement, with Mr. Cushinsc, the President of 
the body, hostile to Mr. Douglas and his friends I can't 
get a hearing.' 'Yes you can,' said he, ; I will go around 
and speak to the Indiana, the Illinois and the Ohio dele- 
gations, and ask them when you arise to speak, to insist 
on North Carolina being heard.' I then told him I would 
try as soon as Mr. Seward of Georgia took his seat. I 
arose and said, 'Mr. President, Mr. Holden of North Car- 
olina.' Mr. Cashing sat for twenty seconds and did not 
recognize me. Then the States mentioned arose and 
demanded in a voice of thunder that North Carolina be 

62 William W. Hold ex. 

heard. Mr. dishing arose and bowed, and gave me the 
floor. I spoke for ten minutes. T told the Convention I 

had been sent there by the Stare of North Carol inn. one of 
the four State delegates ; that I could not be a party to 
any steps looking to disunion; that my party had sent me 
to maintain and preserve, and not destroy the bonds of the 
Union; that by an immense majority the people of my 
State, with Georne Washmgrtdnthe Father of the Country, 
would frown indignantly on the tirst dawning of every 
attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the 
rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which link together the 
various points." 

In his editorials on the Convention he gives further 
emphasis to the position of North Carolina : 

"If North Carolina had gone out, or even waivered, the middle States of 
Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri would have fol- 
lowed her example and only the nonslaveholdin!? States would have 
remained. This would have rendered the Charleston Convention a sectional 
body without authority to adjourn as a National Convention. The party 
would therefore have gone to pieces at Charleston, having no common basis 
on which to re-construct or re-unite its disjointed party. By her firm 
stand, North Carolina saved the party, and to that extent contributed to 
save the Union. "* 

On Holden's return from Charleston, he attended the 
meeting of the Wake county delegates assembled to nomi- 
nate candidates for the Legislature and addressed them 
"in most earnest terms against Secession and disunion." 
Resolutions agreeing with his sentiments were adopted by 
the Convention. %i Only one man of that large body voted 
for disunion." f 

In June. Mr. Holden was one of the State's delegates to 
the Second National Convention of the Democrats which 
met in Baltimore. Again sectional strife dominated the 
National interests of the party. The Southern extremists 
bolted, and nominated Breckenridge of Kentucky for the 
Presidency ; while the Convention supported Stephed A. 

*May 16, 1860. fMeinoirs (unpublished.) 

Historical Papers. 63 

Douglas. The North Carolina delegates we»e divided, 
some joining the Secessionists, but I [olden maintained a 
neutral position. 

"We declined to secede at Baltimore, but out of respect for the opinions 
of the fifteen delegates who did and because of the impending elections at 
home . . . we declined to act or to voce, after the President of the Con- 
vention and so many of colleagues had retired. If we had voted at all, we 
would certainly have voted for Stephen A. Douglas." 

The Charleston and Baltimore Conventions were forcible 
object lessons of those principles which soon plunged the 
Nation into war. Mr. Holdeif s policy in those critical 
months was temporising. He bitterly opposed the Seces- 
sionists, but the idea of a moral union never appears in 
any of his editorials. He held to the old compact view of 
the Union. 

"We believe that the Constitution adopted by the people in 1798, estab- 
lished a government of delegated powers; that the States parted with only 
so much of their sovereignty as was necessary to render this government 
efficient as a common agent; that the powers not delegated were reserved 
to the States respectively or to the people: and that if this government 
should violate the Constitution and attempt to oppressor injure the minor- 
ity, that the majority thus controlling the government and violating the 
Constitution, will have committed a revolution; and that in such an event 
the majority States would be released and would have the right to secede 
from the majority and establish a new Federal Union, or to take any other 
steps which they might deem necessary to their protection, prosperity and 

He declared that a battle was at hand ''between the peo- 
ple on the one hand and privileges on the other : between 
Union and Disunion : ? * that as yet there is no cause for 
secession and he "who would deliberately dissolve and de- 
stroy the National Democratic party while it stands upon 
its old and well-known doctrine of non-intervention has 
but one more step to take to beeoma a disnnionist"* 

Such being his interpretation of the Constitution, he re- 
cognized Douglas as the regular nominee of his party, bat 
iu the campaign he supported the Southern ticket on these 

*July 11, I860. 

64 William W. PToldev. 

conditions: ' ; That the electors will vote for til*' strongest 
man, Breekettridge or Douglass as the case may be, against 
Lincoln. That is, if the vote of this State will elect either 
of them over Lincoln, or will put either of them in the 

House, it is to be cast accordingly. But if the vote will 
elect neither, nor put either of them in the House, the elec- 
tors to vote as they please.'** 

The election of Lincoln hastened the National crisis and 
made secession more imminent. Though the defeat of the 
Democrats was the victory of the n on- slaveholding section, 
Holden still supported the National Government, refusing 
to regard Lincoln's election as a cause for the withdrawal 
from, the union of the States. Speaking of the "hounds of 
power," -the fire eaters'' who will attack North Carolina 
and try to force her to secede, he says : 

"Let them come. We will receive them with hot shot from this old 
Democratic battery, and send them hotline: to their masters. We shall 
stacd like a rock against both disunion a?id submission. We shall call 
on the people to come to the rescue. . . . Let them say to the nre eaters, 
thus far but no farther. Let them tell their representatives that no con- 
sultation with other States is necessary, if it be their determination to 
remain in the Union and give Lincoln a trial." 

When South Carolina seceded, and the other cotton 
States were about to join her, he declared that North Car- 
olina's position was not weakened but strengthened, and 
and called on the border States to intercede and prevent 

"Let Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware. Virginia and 
North Carolina, stand where they are, so as to be in a situation to act as 
mediators between the North and the South. It may be that the glory has 
been reserved for the*e Middle States of reconciling with each other breth- 
ren of extreme views, and of thus preventing the final overthrow of our 

On January I, 1861. the Legislature passed an act which 
declared "that the sovereign people of the State should as- 
semble in convention to effect an honorable adjustment of 

♦August 15, I860. 

Historical Papers. 06 

the difficulties, whereby the Federal Union is endangered, 
or likewise to determine what action will besl preserve the 
honor and promote the interest of North Carolina." The 
time set for election of delegates was in February, hut 
whether the convention should ever assemble was to h< j de- 
cided by the people. George E. Badger, Quenten Busbee, 
and Holden, were Union candidates for Wake county. 
Party lines were disregarded and the people voted against 
the convention. The Union sentiment predominated in 
North Carolina. 

In April news arrived of the bombardment of Fort Sum- 
ter. Although Holden disapproved of South Carolina's 
action, he maintained that the Union could not be maintain- 
ed by force, and that if President Lincoln should attempt 
to suppress the seceding States by force, he would by his 
voluntary action abrogate the Union. Now, more than 
ever, the mission of the border States was to maintain peace. 
* 'If they cannot check and control the two extremes, no 
other power can." The war proclamation was soon issued, 
the last link that bound the South to the Uniou was 

"The proclamation of Lincoln . . . has completed the sectionalism of 
the country. . . . The Union cannot be maintained by force. Men can- 
not be whipped into freedom. . . . The proclamation of Lincoln is a gross 
usurpation. He has broken the Constitution. He has assumed and is non- 
exercising' unrelegated powers. . . . The Confederate States have griev- 
ously erred — they fired the first gun at Charleston — they provoked the war. 
Admit all this, and still there is no justification for an attempt on the part 
of Mr. Lincoln to involve the whole country in war and bloodshed. . . . 
Unchain the tornado and then bid it become a zephyr ! Command Niagara 
to freeze as it falls — civil wars are the worst of all wars"' 

To border states — -We must unite and command the 
peace if possible; if we fail in that, we must fight." 

On May 1st, the Legislature passed a second act calling 
for a convention to assemble in Raleigh on May 20th. 
The meeting of this convention was not subject to the will 
of the people. The delegates met on the appointed day 
and ordinances of secession were adopted. Holden is said 


66 William W. Hold ex. 

to have fixed his signature to the Secession document with 
a gold pen purchased for the purpose and to have ex- 
claimed, "This is the greatest act of my life." 

The Secession convention was the occasion of a re-form- 
ing of political affiliations. The Whigs who had opposed 
the war to the last extremity, such as Badger, Graham, 
and Vance, united with Holden and the Union Democrats, 
and were designated Conservatives. The original Seces- 
sionists and their followers were still known as Democrats. 
An extended discussion of the history of these parties is 
not necessary. The war absorbed the attention of all for 
the next two years. In August, 18(32, Colonel Zebulon 
Vance was elected Governor by the Conservatives over 
Colonel William Johnston, of Charlotte, the Democratic 
candidate. Holden was an ardent supporter of Vance, 
was influential in securing for him the Conservative nomi- 
nation, and on the day of inauguration the Governor-elect 
privately submitted his address to Holden' s criticism. 
There was apparently perfect harmony among the people 
regarding the war until the summer of 1863, when not only 
the State Government, but also the whole Confederacy, was 
thrown into confusion by what has been called the "Peace 
Movement. ' ' This has been greatly misunderstood, and its 
leaders too unjustly condemned. It was but the popular 
expression of a desire for peace which was not unknown in 
the councils of many of the leading Confederate statesmen. 
In fact, the principal differences between the Peace Party 
in North Carolina and other advocates of cessation of 
hostilities, were that the former (I) had its genesis in per- 
sonal grievances of the people against the Confederate 
administration, and (2) its leaders were more pronounced 
and radical as to the measures to which the authorities 
should resort to secure peace. 

The movement was spontaneous in its origin. It spread 
like wild fire throughout the State in August and Septem- 
ber, 1863, and it produced, in the short time of eight 

Historical Papers. 67 

weeks, one hundred meetings that condemned the Adminis- 
tration and demanded peace. It was the result of an 
inefficient central government and of the gradual occupation 
of Southern territory by i\i^ Federal array. Holden was 
its acknowledged leader, though he denied that the" de- 
mand for peace was first made by him. The Conservatives 
and Democrats united for the suppression of the new party. 
Perhaps the ablest statements concerning the conditions of 
Noth Carolina politics at this time are to be found in the 
Hillsboro Recorder, articles transcribed from the Fayette- 
ville Observer, a Conservative organ, and from the Standard. 
A consideration of the arguments of these papers reveals 
the real condition of the Confederacy from the point-of- 
view of contemporaries and so gives the most adequate 
view of the claims of the peace men. 

"When our people separated from the Federal Union 
and united themselves with the government at Mont- 
gomery," says Hoiden, "they did so in the belief that men 
of all shades of opinions would thenceforth be political 
equals, and that the form of government adopted would be 
so administered as to preserve the rights of the sovereign 
States and protect free expression of thought and opinion. 
In this they have been grievously disappointed." Party 
lines should have been laid aside and the energies of all 
directed against the common enemy. The Administration 
failed to appreciate this necessity and the central govern- 
ment became extremely partisan. No citizens who did not 
regard Lincoln's proclamation as ground for dissolution 
were admitted to the Cabinet, and in the words of Mr. 
Hale, the editor of the Observer, old Whigs as Badger. 
Graham. Yance, Gilmer, as well as Holden and the Union 
Democrats, were denounced as "faithless to the South, 
opposed to the war, and in favor of reconstruction.'' 
Holden says that those who protested against the partisan- 
ship of the Richmond authorities were threatened with a 
"hideous mark" which should disgrace them and their 

68 William W. Holden. 

families. In 1862 the Observer was charged with favoring 
the Union because Mr. Hale supported Vance. 

This was the basis of discontent: but there were other 
more immediate causes. First, the rights of the States and 
liberty of citizens were infringed. When North Carolina 
seceded the individual States were the masters of the new 
system. But now war is no longer voluntary, "the con- 
scription and tithing laws leave nothing to the States, but 
the central government takes our lighting men with one 
hand, and the tenth of our substance with the other." 
The Richmond authorities, in addition to recruiting those 
of legal age for war, often impressed into service men over 
forty years of age, and so arranged that what little produce 
was raised in the various States should all be taken to 
provide for the army. "Seizures of persons and property, 
he continues, "have become as common as they are in 
France or Russia. Personal liberty has been made depen- 
dent on the mere will of any officers appointed by the 
President. . . . Our courts, when they have interposed 
to protect these unfortunates and to uphold the law, have 
been disregarded in many instances and their integrity 
reliected on in gross terms by the war department at Rich- 

Financial depression was another grievance. The Con- 
federate currency was gradually repudiated. In one 
instance a Cabinet officer refused to accept the legal tender 
of his own government. Ten dollars in gold would buy 
one hundred in Confederate Bank notes. When the Con- 
federation was formed, President Davis was urged to buy 
cotton and make it the basis of supplies and currency, and 
then call for 500,000 volunteers. Instead he ordered 
15,000 stand of arms and borrowed 815,000,000. Also the 
State governments were in debt. North Carolina's was 
one-tenth the value of the entire State if sold for cash. 

But that which aroused the greatest resentment was the 
treatment of North Carolina troops. She furnished more 


Historical Papers. 69 

than her quota of men, who fought in the war in merry 
engagement and were then denied their merited praise. 

Officers from other States were a ppointed to command 
them and when native North Carolinians whip promoted 
they were of the same political affiliations as the Adminis- 
tration. The * k crowniug outrage" was reached when Major 
Bradford of Virginia was appointed to collect tithes in 
North Carolina. "This led to the first public meeting in 
the State." 

Other charges against the Government were that the 
people had been deceived by the idea that cotton would in- 
sure success, and that France or Europe would interfere. 
The loss of the Mississippi was attributed to the inability of 
"pet Generals. " "Our armies are not materially increasing 
while our enemies are recruiting from twenty million 
people," besides the European immigrants. Finally 
secession was brought about by a few politicians. The 
"people did not desire to secede;" they were willing to 
try Lincoln to see if the body of the people would not 
restore the nation. But the preeipiation of the Southern 
States and Lincoln's cruel policy would not allow this. 
North Carolina was therefore compelled to light against 
her will. This was an able argument and its validity was 
recognized by the Conservatives as well as the ki Peace" 
men. The Union sentiment in North Carolina was strongei 
than in any other Southern State with the exception of 
the "border States." Madison county, in proportion to 
her population, contributed more men to the army than 
any other county in the Union. In September 1864, Gov- 
ernor Vance, in a letter to a friend, said: "The great 
popular heart is not now, and never has been in this war. 
It is a revolution of the Politicians, not the people; and 
is fought at first by the natural enthusiasm of our young 
men, and has been kept going by State and sectional 
power, assisted by that bitterness of feeling produced 
by the cruelties and brutalities of the enemy." 

70 William W, Hold: 

The great result of this maladministration, says Mr. 

Holden, is that ; 'slavery has suffered more injury during 
the last two years than would probably have befallen it in 
the long sweep of fifty years under the old Government. 
The peculiar champions of the institution have placed it, 

we fear, on the high road to extinction. And just here. 
we beg leave to say to the Observer, is the source of one of 
the most serious apprehensions of the people. The sud- 
den emancipation of our slaves in our midst would be the 
greatest blow which could be intiieted on Southern society. 
It would ruin tins generation beyond redemption and its 
effects would be seen for ages to come. Xor would this 
ruin be partial. It would ruin the non-slaveholders as 
well as the slave holders and finally the slave himself. 
Subjection, if it should be in reserve for us, would be 
emancipation.'' Hence the people desire something better 
than subjection in the last resort. Peace cannot come 
through the Confederate Government for Lincoln will 
only treat on an unconditional surrender, and the Con- 
federate Administration has sworn never to yield except 
independence be granted. But if Mr. Lincoln will 
not hear the Confederacy, he might hear sovereign States. 
Co-operation might be accomplished among the States, 
war cease, and the questions at issue be left to Statesmen 
to settle. This would not depress the soldiers : they would 
tight better when they knew that the people at home were 
working for peace. The old form of government is not to 
be desired; but peace would be far more acceptable than 
the present condition of Mississippi and Louisiana. 

These arguments of the Peace men could not be refuted. 
Mr. Hale, in defence of the administration, could only 
charge the agitators of being friends and relatives of 
deserters and non-slave holders, who believed the war was 
waged against slavery, and consequently were out of 
sympathy with the Government because it involved 
destruction of property. This is a plausable explanation 

Historical Papsbs. 71 

but is not satisfactory when the various locations of dissat- 
isfaction are considered. As before said, there were one 
hundred Peace meetings. These were held in all parts of 
the State, especially in the Central and Western regions. 
Transylvania. Buncombe, Waiitatiga, Wilkes, Yadkin. 
Forsythe, Guilford. Henderson, Rutherford. Alamance, 
Iredell, Davie. Rowan, Cabarras. Randolph, Mecklenburg, 
Stanley, Moore, Wake. Granville. Nash and Wayne were 
some of the counties in which mass meetings were held 
reproaching Davis and his cabinet and calling for overtures 
for peace. In Wayne the dissatisfaction was so gr^at that 
the women of the county convened and protested against 
the devastations of their homes produced by The ineffective 
policy of those who controlled the Government. The disaf- 
fection was not local but spread to the army. In order to 
check it the officers held an ti- Holden meetings and finally 
the Standard was not allowed to be circulated among 
privates. The following is a letter to Holden from asoidier 
at Kinston : 

''The meeting held in this city to acton your course was composed of 
officers and privates, but the privates had no part in it. They were present, 
but they did not dare §$.y anything. If the privates could have voted their 
sentiments, two- thirds «>f them would have endorsed your views. The sol- 
diers are mad to think that they have got to be represented as being against 
the Standard when it is not so. All they wish is a vote by ballot. . . . 
We in the 42d are deprived of the privilege of reading the Standard unless 
we do it slyly, as the Colonel has forbidden them to be brought into 

Another writes and asks Holden not to show his letter 
or use his name— for if the officers were to hear of his letter 
they would punish him. Letters also came to the Stand- 
ard office from soldiers in South Carolina and Georgia. 
But Holden always denied that he favored desertions in the 
army. His motto was to tight with one hand and bear 
the olive branch in the other. 

Holden and his followers were bitterly condemned by 

* Standard, September 6, 1863. 

72 William W. Holdkx. 

both Conservatives and Democrats. In Charlotte the 
people burned him in efEgy. In September, 1803, a com- 
pany of Georgia troops passing through Raleigh attacked 
the Stmtdivrd office, destroyed the presses, and Holden 
himself was only saved by the intervention of Governor 
Vance. The next day the Peace men retaliated by demol- 
ishing the office of the State Jour mil, the Administration 
organ. They in turn dispersed at the request of Vance. 
Vance's official letter to President Davis explains the event 

in detail : 

September 11, 1863. 
"The country is in a dangerous excitement and it will require the utmost 
skill and tact to guide it through safely and honorably. The soldiers who 
originated the mob belonged to Benning's Brigade and were led by their 
officers, several of whom I saw in the crowd, but heard none of their names 
except a Major Shepherd. I have also reasons for believing it was done 
with a knowledge* and consent of General Benning. as he remarked to a 
gentleman an hour or two previous that his men had threatened it. Din- 
ing its continuance he could not be found, a messenger sent by me to his 
supposed quarters at the depot was refused admission to him. and although 
he had amx>le opportunity after the occurrence to have seen or written to 
me disclaiming this outrage upon the honor and peace of North Carolina, 
he did not do so." 

The Peace men were largely discontented Conservatives. 
When Vance was made Governor in 1802, it was under- 
stood that he was not in sympathy with President Davis 
and his policy. But Holden declares that in "August and 
September, 18ii:>, after he i Vance) had visited Richmond 
and talked with Mr. Davis he tell into new and curious 
ways. In a word, he left entirely the thousands upon 
thousands who had made him Governor and placed him- 
self at the head of the Secessionists of the State/' 
This was admitted by all the Conservatives, for Mr. Hale 
says in his article elsewhere referred to that now (1863) 
Governor Vance has an understanding with Mr. Davis and 
there need be no further dissatisfaction with the Adminis- 
tration.* Early in 1804 the Confederate Congress passed 

*Governor Vance publicly expressed his change of attitnte toward Davis 
in a speech at Wilkesboro. 

Historical Papers. 73 

an act suspending the writ of habeas cor pun in certain 
cases, among which were the following: 

L Of treason or treasonable efforts o? combinations to 
subvert the Government of the Confederate States. 

II. Of conspiracies to overthrow the Government, or 
conspiracies to resist the lawful authority of the Confed- 
erate States. 

III. Of persons aiding or inciting others to abandon the 
Confederate cause, or to resist the Confederate States off 
to adhere to the enemy. 

How far these clauses were directed against the Peace 
advocates remains unknown. Mrs. Spencer tells us that 
'*Mr. Holden deemed it prudent to suspend the issue of 
his paper for two months in the spring of 1864, in con- 
sequence of the act suspending the writ of habeas corpus.^ 
But the Standard did not suspend issue till after the 
elections of 186 i. 

On February 10. 1864. a mass-meeting of the discontented 
was held in Raleigh, and resolutions were adopted request- 
ing Josiah Turner, one of North Carolina's representatives 
in the Confederate Congress, to have the writ of habeas 
corpus put in force again, and also recommended Holden 
as candidate for Governor in the coming elections. "That 
as Governor Vance has voluntarily and for reasons best 
known to himself, made his bed with the destruction 
leaders, we are indisposed to go over to that side of the 
house to remove him to his former place. His attempt to 
transfer his old friends to the support of the Destructives, 
and his wretched jokes at a time like this, when our people 
are almost literally bathed in blood and tears, in the midst 
of their sacrifices and sufferings, will neither add to the 
dignity of his office nor convince the judgment of his 
hearers. We shall vote against him with as much good 
will as we voted for him two years ago." This document 
was signed by Lynn Adams, chairman; D. A. AVicker and 
J. 3Sf, Bunting, secretaries. Vance was re-elected by a 


74 William W. Holden. 

large majority. The Peace meetings were finally sup- 
pressed by force, and the defeat of 1864 marks the culmi- 
nation of the movement. But until the close of the war 
there remained a disconted element in the State. 

It remains to consider the grievances of the Peace Party 
as viewed by the Conservatives and other supporters of the 
Confederacy. The causes of this discontent were not 
charges trumped up by enemies of the South. The condi- 
tions of the government were just as the Standard portrays 
them, and they caused both Vance and Davis much 
trouble. The following extracts from Vance's letter-book 
corroborate the claims of the Peace men :* 


Raleigh, N. C, January 26, 1863. 
Hon. James H. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va. : 

Sir : — I had the honor to complain to His Excellency the President and 
your immeditate predecessor. Mr. Randolph, in regard to the manner of en- 
forcing the Conscript Act in this State, and of disposing of men in regi- 
ments during the month of October last. I am compelled again, greatly to 
my grief, to complain of the appointment of Colonel August as Comman- 
dant of Conscrips for North Carolina, who has recently assumed command 

Merely alluding to the obvious impropriety and bad policy of wounding 
the sensibilities of our people, by the appointment of a citizen of another 
State, to execute a law both harsh and odious, I wish to say, sir, in all can- 
dor, that it smacks of discourtesy to our people, to say the least of it. Hav- 
ing furnished as many (if not more) troops for the service of the Confederacy 
as any other State, and being, as I was assured by the President, far ahead 
of all others in the number raised by the Conscript Law, the people of this 
State feel mortified in seeing those troops commanded by citizens of other 
States, to the exclusion of the claims of their own. This feeling is increas- 
ed and heightened into a general indignation when it is thus officially an- 
nounced that North Carolina has no man in her borders to command her 
own conscrips. While scores of her noblest sons and best officers are now at 
home with mutilated limbs and shattered constitutions." 

To Jas. H. Seddon, Secretary of War: 

"Gen. Pillow has sent a detachment of cavalry into Western North Car- 
olina to enroll and arrest conscrips without the shadow of law and in de- 
fiance of the proper authorities. . . . 

*July 6, 1SC3. Disapproves of the appointment of Bradford as Tax Col- 
lector for North Carolina. Also officers speculating privately. 

Historical Papers. 75 

"Please order it stopped through Col. Collart, of Greenvile, Tenn., or 
there will be resistence and bloodshed. 

"Raids by cavalry bands in the west were another abuse that made the 
people restive. People were arrested by Confederate soldiers from other 
States. At another time a young man by the name of Axby, in Cherokee 
county, was carried off by some Georgia troops. 'As such proceedings can 
not be tolerated for a moment, I have issued orders pendante dite to the 
State officers of that county to call out the militia and shoot the first man 
who attempts to perpetuate a similar outrage without the Marshall of that 
district.' " 

March 25, 1803. 

"If God Almighty had yet in store another plague worse than all others, 
which he intended to have let loose on the Egyptians, in case Pharoah still 
hardened his heart, I am sure it must have been a regiment or so of half 
armed, half disciplined Confederate cavalry. Had they been turned loose 
on Pharoah's subjects with or without an impressment lav,-, he would have 
become so sensible of the anger of God, that he never would have followed 
the children of Israel to the Red Rea. No, sir, not an inch . . . unless 
somethiug can be done, I shall be compelled in some sections to call out my 
militia and levy actual war against them." 

In December 1863. Gov. Vance made the following rec- 
ommendation to President Davis, concerning the attitude 
of the Government toward the peace agitators. 

"After a careful consideration of all sources of discontent in North Car- 
olina, I have concluded that it will be impossible to remove it, except by 
making some effort at negotiation with the enemy. The recent action of 
the Federal House of Representatives, though meaning very little, has 
greatly excited the public hope that the Northern mind is looking toward 
peace. I am promised, by all men who advocate the course, that if fair 
terms are rejected it will tend greatly to strengthen and intenstfy the war 
feeling, and will rally all classes to a more cordial support of the Govern- 
ment. And, although our position is well known as demanding only to be 
let alone, yet it seems to me for sake of humanity, without having any 
weak or improper motives attributed to us, we might with propriety con- 
stantly tender negotiations. In doing so we could keep conspicuously 
before the world a disclaimer of our responsibility for the great slaughter 
of our race, and convince the humblest of our citizens — who sometimes 
forget the actual situation — that the Government is tender of their lives 
and happiness, and would not prolong their sufferings unnecessarily one 
moment. Though statesmen might regard this as useless, the people will 
not, and I think our cause will be strengthened thereby. I have not 
suggested the method of these negotiations or their terms. The effort to 
obtain peace is the principle." 

In reply to this Mr. Davis said that he had made ; 'three 

76 William W. Holden. 

distinct efforts to communicate with the authorities at 
Washington," and each had proved unsuccessful. "The 

attempt again to send commissioners or agents to propose 
peace, is to invite insult and contumely, and to subject 
ourselves to indignity without the slightest chance of being 
listened to." Peace could only be obtained by the uncon- 
ditioned surrender of the Confederacy, and this was foreign 
to the councils of both Vance and Davis. 

From this correspondence it is evident that both Holden 
and Vance were dissatisfied with the Confederacy. But 
Vance favored waging war to its bitter end. There was no 
hope for a peace on the terms of the Confederacy, and the 
Southern States were doomed. Holden and the peace men 
wished to make constant overtures for peace, and when the 
end was certain, advocated peace on any terms rather than the 
useless slaughter of the Southern army. Unfortunately 
those who were contemporaries of the war and have since 
attempted to write its history, have neglected to treat of 
Holden and his party. Says Major Moore: "The sei^e 
of Petersburg went on. and the sad news of Gen. Early's 
defeats in the valley came ever and anon to add fresh sor- 
row and despair to the South, but with a blind and des- 
perate disregard of the situation, no hand was lifted to stay 
the slaughter or make terms amid so many combatants." 
Yet a few pages further he condems the peace men as un- 
faithful to their country. 

To the peace men were attributed all the misfortunes and 

reverses of the war. A loyal Confederate in his diary makes 

these charges. 

September 25, 1863. 

Had Holden and Company done as he did the 4th April, 1861, we would now 
have been enjoying a blissful peace and separation from the vile Yankee. 
We could without the loss of all honor and thousands of our best men left 
to their families, home and country. The blood of these are upon the 
skirts of Holden and his coadjutors to a more or less desrrae, I have no 
doubt. What does he or they care for the soldier he or they have duped 
when he is tried by court marshal] and shot ? And many have thus gone 
leaving a blasting stigma on his home for his friends to inherit." 

Historical Papers. 77 

March 4, 1804. 
"The Standard edited by Mr. Holden, of Ralegh, has been a schism, etc., 
from the first and has been the direct causes of many desertions and many 
executions of our brave soldiers of this State. He has built tip what he 
calls a Conservative party whose members are doing much injury to our 
cause, particularly in the upper regions of the State, and murder and rob- 
bery have in many instances been the result.'' 

It is impossible to determine in any definite and final 
terms the influence of the Peace movement, tor it was 
suppressed by the civil and military authorities. Perhaps 
the mass-meetings were not so great a danger to the Con- 
federacy as they have been regarded. Says Mr. Holden : 
kk I think it more than likely that these meetings were 
safety valves to the Confederacy; for the people at liDme, 
having expressed their views and opinions and finding that 
nothing could be done to arrest the war, relapsed into their 
condition of suffering endurance, and 'waded deeper/ as 
Major Moore says, -into the crimson flood, * ' Whether 
the efforts towards peace in North Carolina were connected 
with the similar agitations in the North, remains unknown. 
However, a gentleman recently told me that he once saw 
in some war hies of the New York Herald an article that 
stated that overtures for peace were constantly expected 
from North Carolina; and in January, 1864. Vance wrote 
as follows to a friend : "It is now a lixed policy of Mr. Hol- 
den and others to call a convention in May to take North 
Carolina back to the United States, and the agitation has 
already begun. Resolutions advocating this course were 
prepared a few days ago in the Standard office and sent to 
Johnston county to be passed at a public meeting next 
week, and a series of meetings are to be held all over the 
State/' When Sherman's army entered the State the 
soldiers expected to be well received, for they believed 
that a Union sentiment prevailed in North Carolina and 
that her citizens favored peace. 

Whatever may be said regarding the Peace agitators, 
this fact so well stated by Mr. Holden, remains true. 

78 King's Mountain- Expedition. 

'-North Carolina very reluctantly followed her compatriots 

of the Southern States in resisting the authority of the 
Union. The chief cornier stone of the Confederacy was 
the right of secession. North Carolina, therefore was a sov- 
ereign State, and had a right to do whatever she deemed 
best for the protection and prosperity of her people." ' So 
the peace movement was another result of those principles 
that precipitated secession and war. In regard to Mr. Hol- 
den's public life, his political relations during the war alien- 
ated from him many of those who had been his friends in 
the early days of the Confederacy. He and his opponents i >t* 
the old Whig Party w r ere conciliated at the secession conven- 
tion. But his position from 1863 to the close of the war 
again separated him from his old friends. The breach 
was increased and made lasting by the events soon to take 
place during the days of Reconstruction. 


[Continued from Page 35.] 

At the time when the news of Cates' defeat reached 
Colonel Charles McDowell he had detached Colonels 
Shelby and Sevier to go around Ferguson's camp to 
dislodge some British and Tories on the Enoree, near to 
Ninety-Six. He then sent an express to Shelby to take 
care of himself, for Gates was defeated. Whereupon 
Shelby made the best of his way around Ferguson, and 
fell in with Charles McDowell and the main body retreat- 
ing towards Gilbert Town. Then it was suggested by 
Shelby that a sufficient force could be raised over the 
mountains, with the assistance from Wilkes and Surry 
counties, to defeat Ferguson. This was agreed to by all 
the officers present. The troops w^ere raised without gov- 
ernment orders ; each man had to furnish his own pro- 
visions, arms, ammunition, horse, and all his equipage. 
without the value of a gun-tiint from the public ; without 

Historical Papers. 79 

pay, or expectation of pay or reward, even to the amount 
of a Continental dollar, depreciated to eight bundled to 
one. They were all volunteers; they were under BO com- 
pulsion to go, but each man in advance consulted his own 
courage, well knowing he was going to light before his 
return. They started in a rainy, inclement season of the 
year, without baggage wagon, pack-horse, or tent cloth, 
across the most rugged bar of mountains in the State, and 
almost pathless, having only a hunter's trail to travel, fol- 
lowed Ferguson through all his windings ; at length over- 
took him at King's Mountain, where he boasted the morn- 
ing of the battle that -he was on King's Mountain, and 
that he was king of that mountain, and that God Almighty 
could not drive him from it.'' There we overhauled him. 
fought him two to one, hence their lire was double that of 
ours ; yet we killed 287 [247] of them, to 143 they killed 
of us. Yet the fate of nations and of battles turn on a 
pivot. Ferguson, a prudent officer, finding himself beset 
and surrounded on all sides, ordered his regulars, who had 
muskets and bayonets, to charge bayonet on Major Chron- 
icle's South Fork boys. The regulars having discharged 
their muskets at a short distance with effect, in turn the 
Fork boys discharged their riiies with fatal effect and 
keeping before the points of the bayonets about twenty 
feet, until they loaded again, when they discharged their 
rifles, each man dropped his man. This was treatment 
that British courage could not stand ; they in turn retreated 
with precipitation ; then the Hag was hoisted, and all was 

If they had succeeded in the charge, it would have 
made a pass- way for his army, and they might have turned 
on our line on the one side of the hill, and defeated us in 
detail, or have made good their march to Lord Cornwallis 
at Charlotte, either of which would have been disasterous 
to the American cause. We had neither a coward or a 
traitor to face the hill that day. We were the bravest of 

80 King's Mountain Expedition. 

the brave; we were a formidable flock of blue hen 'a 
chickens of the game blood, of indomitable coarage, and 
strangers to fear. We were well provided with sticks; we 
made the esrg-shells. — British and Tory skulls — 11 v like 
union pea lings in a windy day; the blue cocks flapped 
their wings and crowed — ".we are all for liberty theoe 
times;'' and all was over: our equals were scarce, and our 
superiors hard to find. 

Taking the whole campaign, including the battle, I 
know of no parallel to it in the annals of ancient or mod- 
ern warfare; the nearest was that of the Grecian Leonidas 
and his army at the batte of Thermopylae with the Great 
Xerxes. Leonidas and his army were found, victualed and 
clothed at public expense ; each individual of our army had 
to find at his own expense : Leonidas' army were under 
government orders : we were under no government at all, 
but were volunteers; Leonidas' army were furnished with 
arms and camp equipage; we had to rind our own arms, 
amunition and horses at our own expense; Leonidas' 
army were under government pay : we were under no pay- 
or reward or the expectation of any : Leonidas' army had 
choice of ground at the pass at Thermopylae; our enemies 
had the boasted choice of ground ; Leonidas' army had to 
tight superior numbers — so had we ; Leonidas had never a 
coward — neither had we any: but Leonidas had a traitor 
who was his overthrow and destruction of all but one man ; 
we had neither coward or traitor to face our enemy — 
hence we were successful; Leonidas would have been 
successful, and have defeated or put to flight the Great 
Xerxes if he had not had a traitor aboard : Leonidas' 
defeat was the destruction of the fine country of Greece, 
and the burning and destruction of their tine city of Ath- 
ens, the labor of ages. Our success was the salvation of 
our county and our liberty. There is no parallel here: 
we will see if there is in modern times. 

The generosity and patriotism of the Great Washington 

Historical Papers. 81 

has been justly boasted of; he did not charge the United 

States anything for his services during the Revolution ; he 
was found his food and camp equipage by the public, 
and everything else that he stood in need of; his necessary 

incidental expenses he kept an accurate account of, and 
they were paid by the public; he was paid for everything 
else but his military services. This has bees justly con- 
sidered as great generosity and patriotism and ought never 
to be forgotten. But this flight of the blue hen's chick- 
ens threw this into the shade of an eclipse. 

Now we will makp the comparison. Washington was 
rich, and had no family to provide for. We were poor 
and had families to provide for. He was provided with 
a horse, victuals, clothing, arms, camp equipage and 
necessary attendance ; we had to provide our own horse, 
victuals, clothing, arms, arnunition and blankets at our own 
expense. He charged nothing for his military services ; 
naither did we charge anything for our military services. 
nor did we receive anything for them ; he fought the bat- 
tles of our country with success ; we did the same. The 
expedition against Fergurson, including the battle of 
King's Mountain, did not cost the State or the United 
States, the worth of a single continental dollar depreciated 
down to eight hundred to one. It was all done to the 
expense of bravery of the actors in that transaction. There 
is no parallel here. 

We will take a view of the situation of the country 
after the defeat of Gates and Sumpter. and before Fergur- 
son's defeat. Cornwallis was in Charlotte with a large 
army; Howdan was in Camden with another large army; 
Leslie was at Winsbororough with a considerable army ; 
Conger at Ninety Six with a large army ; McGirt, Cun- 
ningham and Brown, each having considerable force. 
carrying on a savage warfare of murdering, robbing, burn- 
ing and destroying. George Lumpkin, Ben Moore and 
others in Lincoln County, the chief of plunderers, Tarleton 

82 King's Motntain Expedition. 

and Wemyss having large bodies of draggoons. the best 
mounted of any that were ever in the United States. For 
on the fall of Charleston, the British deluged the country 
with counterfeit Continental bills, sending emmisariea 
through the three Southern States to purchase up all the 
best horses belonging to the Whigs, at any price. Besides 
these armies, numerous squads of Tories, wherever they 
could collect ten or twelve, were plundering, robbing, and 
destroying the last piece of property they could lay 
their hands on belonging to the Whigs. To finish the list, 
Furgursou with about 1,200 men, three-fourths Tori'—. 
whose principal business it was to destroy Whig stock. 
It is to be observed, that more than one-half of their armies 
consisted of Tories. 

This is a statement of facts that needs no proof: they 
cannot be contradicted or denied, for everybody knows them 
to be true. This statement does not take into view the garri- 
sons at Charleston. Savannah, Augusta and other places in 
the lower country, or the numererous bodies of Tories in 
the lower part of North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia completely under British rule, and North Carolina 
at the eve of it. We had no army in any of the three South- 
ern States, under Government orders, of any account that 
I know of. except the poor fragments of Gates' defeated 
army, lying near the Virginia line. Marion's troops were 
volunteers, for the State, was under British rule. The 
Mecklenburg Hornets were volunteers from the counties of 
Rowan, Lincoln aud Mecklenburg. 

From this state of things, Cornwallis could easily have 
carried out his avowed purpose of again defeating Gates. 
and entering Virginia with the most numerous army that 
had been on the Continent, by calling in some of his need- 
less outposts, and these numerous squads of petty-larceny 
plunderers, who were raised from poverty to amuence in a 
few day's plundering, and having still the expectation of 
further advancement by getting the Whig plantations. If 

Historical Papers. 83 

he had succeeded the patriotic State of Virginia would 
have had to contend with him and his army almost single 
handed, for it could have received little aid from the con 
quered States, and but little from Washington, or the 
Northern States, as they had their hands full with Clinton 
and his New York Tories. This was the most disastrous 
period for Liberty and Independence from the time of its 
Declaration to the end of the war. Liberty and Indepen- 
dence were then shrouded in Egyptian darkness. Furgur- 
son's defeat was the turning point in American affairs. 
The battle, extraordinary as it was, was not more extraor- 
dinary than its effects were. 

Cornwallis on hearing that Furgurson was defeated 
immediately dropped the notion of defeating Gates and 
entering Virginia with a numerous army, being already 
galled by the Mecklenburg hornets, was panic -struck to 
think that he would, alas ! have, at the same time, to 
encounter the gaifs and spurs of the blue hen's chickens as 
soon as he could filch a few days' provisions from under 
the wings of the Hornets, took night's leave of the Hornets' 
nest, lest he should disturb the wasps, made a precipitate 
retrograde march, stopping neither night nor day until he 
joined Leslie at Winnsborough. 

Instantly after Fergurson's defeat, McGirt, Cunningham 
and Brown quit their robbing, murdering, burning and 
destroying, and played the game of "the least in sight,'' 
and ''shut mouth'' into the bargain. Lumpkin, Moore 
and company tied to Xoeachey; the petty larceny squads 
of Torys began to seek their hiding places and holes, like 
rats and mice when the cat would make her appearance. 
When Generals Green and Morgan came from the North 
with all the force that could be spared from that quarter, 
with the fragments of Gates' defeated army — the brave 
and cautious General Morgan found that he was unable to 
fight Tarleton, fled before him, until Williams troops, 
being chiefly South Carolina and Georgia refugees, who 

84 King's Mountain Expedition. 

fought under Williams at Fergursons' defeat, and the 
other troops who lived on the east side of the mountains, 

who fought at the same place — heard of Morgan's retreat- 
ing before Tarieton, and rushed to his assistance. Being 
thus reinforced, General Morgan turned about, and defeated 
Tarieton at the Cowpens ; General Green had to retreat 
before Lord Conwallis until reinforced by the Mecklen- 
burg Hornets, composed of volunteers from Rowan, Lincoln 
and Mecklenburg counties. Green turned upon Corn- 
wallis, and at Guilford made an equal fight — neither having 
the victory. How would it have been with Generals 
Green and Morgan if Fergurson had not been defeated? 
Tarieton 1 s force would have been greatly increased, and 
Cornwallis' army would have been more than double the 
number that appeared on the field of battle at Guilford. 
All then that Morgan and Greene could have done would 
have been to retreat and keep out of their way, and permit 
Cornwallis, agreeably to his avowed intention, to have 
entered Virginia with the most numerous army that had 
been in the iield since the commencement of the war. 
Virginia would then have had to contend single-handed 
with that formidable force, with the assistance of General 

In short. Fergurson's defeat was the turning point in 
American affairs. The loss of this battle would, in all 
probability, have been the loss of American Independence 
and the Liberty we now enjoy. I never on any occasion 
feel such dignified pride as when I think that my name 
counts one of the number that faced the hill at King's 
Mountain the day of that battle. Others may think and 
speak disrespectfully of that transaction who are in favor 
of monarchy and individual oppression; but that is not 
Joseph McDowell, nor you, my friend Bob. 

I have written down my narrative, and General McDow- 
ell's reply to Musentine Matthews, which he delivered to 
the bovs at the head of the Round -About on the Stone 


Historical Papers. 85 

Mountain, as nearly as memory would serve. Thinking 
that reading it might fill up a blank in your leisure hours, 
reflecting on the situation of the times to which the recited 
facts refer. Your friend, D. Vance. 

I will now relate a few facts relative to the battle at 
King's Mountain that came within my own view, and not 
related by Colonel Vance. In Vance's narrative, he refers 
to Colonel W. Graham's and David Dickey's leaving the 
army to visit his wife, and Major Billy Chronicle taking 
his place, and calling on his South Fork boys to follow 
him. At that time Enoch Gilmer called on Hugh Ewin, 
Adam Barry and myself to follow him close to the foot of 
the hill. We marched with a quick step, letting Major 
Chronicle advance about ten steps before us, but further 
from the hill than we were, until we met the wing from 
the other side of the hill. Then, Chronicle having a mili 
tary hat. but had let it down to shelter the rain from him. 
and had it not set up, clapped his hand to it in front, and 
raised it up, and cried, "Face to the hill." The words 
were scarcely uttered, when a ball struck him and he 
dropped ; and in a second after a ball struck William 
Eobb, about six feet from Chronicle, and he dropped. We 
then advanced up the hill close to the Tory lines. There 
was a log across a hollow that I took my stand by, and 
stepping one step back, I was safe from the British tire. 
I there remained tiring until the British charged bayonet. 
When they made the charge they first fired their guns, at 
which fire it is supposed they killed Captain Mattocks and 
J. Boyd; wounded William Gilmer and John Chittim. 
The Fork boys fired and did considerable execution. I 
was preparing to tire when one of the British advancing, I 
stepped [back] and was in the act of cocking my gun, when 
his bayonet was running along the barrel of my gun, and 
gave me a thrust through my hand and into my thigh ; my 
antagonist and myself both fell. The Fork boys retreated 
and loaded their guns. I was then lying under the smoke. 

86 King's Mountain Expedition. 

and it appeared that some of them were not more than 
gun's length in front of the bayonets, and the farthest 
could not have been more than twenty feet in front when 
they discharged their rifles. It was said that every one 
dropped his man. The British then retreated in great 
haste, and were pursued by the Fork boys. 

William Caldwell saw my condition, and pulled the 
bayonet out of my thigh, but it hung to my hand ; he gave 
my hand a kick, and went on. The thrust gave me much 
pain, but the pulling of it j out] was much more severe. With 
my well hand I picked up my gun, and found her dis- 
charged. I suppose that when the soldier made the thrust 
I gripped the trigger and discharged her — the load must 
have passed through his bladder and cut a main artery of 
his back, as he bled profusely. 

Immediately after William Caldwell drew the bayonet 
from me. then the word was that the flag was up — the 
Whigs then shouted » -Hurrah for Liberty," three times at 
the top of their voices. It was immediately announced 
that Fergurson was killed. I had a desire to see him, and 
went and found him dead ; he was shot in the face, and in 
the breast. It w^as said he had received other wounds. 
Samuel Talbot turned him over, and got his pocket pistol. 

Being in much pain and droutty, went down, left my 
gun, being unable to carry her, and when I got near to the 
branch met David Dickey and Colonel William Graham 
riding his large black horse, wielding his sword round his 
head, crying at the top of his voice, ''Damn the Tories/ ' 
and ascended the hill. Having seen him get leave of 
absence at the commencement of the battle to see his wife, 
I was rilled with excitement and a conflict of passions and 
extreme pain : but this brought on another set of feelings, 
that may be understood, but I am not possessed of lan- 
guage to describe. 

I then went into the branch, drank, bathed my thigh 
and hand — then went to see whether Major Chronicle and 

Historical Papers. 87 

William Robb were dead or wounded — found thetn dead. 
I saw some of the boys hauling Captain Mattocks and John 
Boyd down the hill; and Samuel Martin carrying William 
Gilmer, who was wounded in the thigh. 

Several of the South Fork boys were desirous to start 
for home that night, and were desirous to know how many 
were killed on each side. Joseph Beatty and Enoch Gil- 
mer were appointed for that purpose of counting. They 
reported that *24S British and Tories were killed, and that 
143 Whigs were killed. They gave no account of the 

In the meantime Hugh Ewin, Andrew Barry and Na- 
thaniel Cook brought their horses and mine; put me on 
my horse, but could not take my gun. We rode over the 
battle-grounds : saw in some places the dead lay thick, and 
other places thin. We went about five miles from the 
battle-ground, and staid for the night. My wounds pained 
me extremely. Sunday morning we started for home. 
When we came to the South Fork, the waters were high, 
and my Company would not suffer me to ride the river, but 
took me across in a canoe, and hauled me home in a slide. 

I continued in extreme pain, when my mother made a 
poultice of wet ashes, and applied it to my wounds. This 
gave me the first ease. On Monday morning by sunrise 
Hugh Ewin and Andrew Barry came to see me, and imme- 
diately after came several Neutralists, as they called 
themselves, but were really Tories, to hear the news about 
the battle, when the following dialogue took place between 
Ewin and Barry on one part, and the Tories on the other : 

Tory. Is it certain that Colonel Fergurson is killed, and 
his army defeated and taken prisoners? 

E. and B. It is certain, for we saw Fergurson after he 
was dead, and his army prisoners. 

Tory. How many men had Colonel Fergurson? 

E. and B. Xearly 1.200. but not quite 1,200. 

Tory. Where did they get men enough to defeat him ? 

88 King's Mointain Expedition. 

E. and B. They had the South Carolina and Georgia 
Refugees, Colonel Graham's men, some from Virginia, 
some from the head of the Yadkin, some from rhe head of 
the Catawba, some from over the mountains, and some 
from everywhere else. 

Tory. Tell us how it happened, and all about it. 

E. and B. We met at Gilbert Town, and found that the 
foot troops could not overtake Fergurson, and we took 
between six and seven hundred horsemen, leaving as many 
or more footmen to follow; and we overtook Fergurson at 
King's Mountain, where we surrounded and defeated him. 

Tory. Ah! That won't do. Between six and seven 
hundred to surround nearly 1,200. It would take more 
than 2,000 to surround and take Colonel Fergurson. 

E. and B. But we were all of us blue hen's chickens. 

Tory. There must have been of your foot and horse in 
all over 4,000. We see what you are about, that is to 
catch Lord Cornwallis napping. 

Thus ended the dialogue, not more than two hours after 
sunrise on Monday : and the Neutralists or Tories immedi- 
ately departed. It was reported that they immediately 
swam a horse across the Catawba river by the side of a 
canoe (the Catawba was much higher than the South Fork), 
and gave Lord Cornwallis the news of Fergurson' s defeat. 

Before my wounds were well, I went to Charlotte, and 
after Cornwallis had left it, where I met a David Knox, a 
brother or near relative of James Knox, the grandfather of 
President Polk, who gave me the following information, 
to-wit : That on Monday next after Fergurson's defeat, 
he, Knox, being a prisoner in the street in Charlotte, that 
an officer came to the officer of the guard, and the follow- 
ing dialogue took place : 

The first officer said to the officer of the guard. Did you 
hear the news? 
..Officer of Guard. Xo, what news? 

First Officer. Colonel Fergurson is killed, and his whole 
army defeated and taken prisoners. 

Historical Papers. 89 

Officer of Guard. How can that be — where did the men 
come from to do that? 

First Officer. Some of them were South Carolina and 
Georgia Refugees, some from Virginia, some from the 
head of the Yadkin, some from the head of Catawba, some 
from over the mountains, and some from everywhere else. 
They met at Gilbert Town, about 2,000 desperadoes on 
horseback, calling themselves blue hen's chickens, started 
in pursuit of Fergnrson, leaving as many footmen to 
follow. They overtook Colonel Fergnrson at a place called 
King's Mountain ; there they killed Colonel Fergurson, 
after surrounding his army, defeated them and took them 

Officer of Guard. Can this be true? 

First Officer. As true as the gospel, and we may look 
out for breakers. 

Officer of Guard. God bless us! 

Whereupon David Knox jumped on a pile of fire- wood 
in the street, slapped his hands and thighs, and crowed 
like a cock, exclaiming, "Day is at hand!" Hence he 
was called Peters CocJc— having some analogy to the crow- 
ing of the cock when Peter denied his Lord the third time. 

It was generally considered about Charlotte and else- 
where, that this exaggerated account, given by the 
Neutralists, of Colonel Campbell's army, foot and horse, 
at 4,000, which carried a strong air of plausibility with it, 
was the reason why Lord Cornwallis immediately left 
Charlotte in the night, after the waters were passible, and 
did not stop day nor night until he met General Leslie at 

or near Winnsborous:h. 


Note. —Carefully transcribed from the oriirinal manuscript in Robert 
Henrv's handwriting, sent me bv mail for the purpose by Dr. J. F. E. 
Hardy, of Asheville, N. C. January 26th, 27th. 28th and early the 29th, 
187-1. — L C. Draper. 

This copy is taken from the Draper MS., as may be seen from the above, 
sent me by Jndsre D. Schenck, of Greensboro, "N". C, for that purpose, 
copied January 31st, February 1st. 2d and 4th, 189S, by Jas. T. Henry, a 
grandson of Robert Henry, at "Trinity Park." 


90 William W. Holden. 



PART III.— Reconstruction to Canby Constitution. 

The series of events that followed the surrender of the 
Confederate army are so closely interwoven with the legal 
and constitutional development of the Nation as well as 
with that of the South, that a concise and adequate view of 
the period embracing the years 1865 to 1870 is the most 
tantalizing task that a student of American institutions 
might undertake. In this discussion no claim is made 
to present a final estimate of Reconstruction, State or 
National. Only those facts will be discussed that are 
more or less reflected in the life of Mr. Holden, facts 
that demand the consideration of every dispassionate 
enquirer into North Carolina's contribution to the progress 
of the Nation. But in the beginning may the reader par- 
don one criticism upon the popular conception of the 
period about to be discussed? Nearly every one who has 
spoken or wuitten of these years of trial has portrayed 
them in the very darkest colors, attributed to them not a 
few evils of the present, imaginary and otherwise. The 
sins of "carpet-baggers," "scallawags" and "radical mis- 
rule" and the offenses of the ignorant freed men are unfor- 
tunately still the themes of as bitter partisanship as 
ever graced the campaign of 1876. Shall we ever be free 
from "the weariness, the fever, and the fret" of the dark 
days of Reconstruction? 

The mistake has been and yet is, that the problem of 
Reconstruction was not so much one of social equality of the 
Caucasian with an inferior race, but the paramount issues 
were constitutional. While legislators were devoting 
time and talent to the legal and constitutional reconstruc- 
tion of the Union, the attention of the multitude was 
turned to the status of the emancipated slave. In many 
instances strife and crime were precipitated by the unprin- 

Historical Papers. 91 

cipled office-seeker or the well meaning but ignorant 
descendants of abolition. At least an insane disdain and 
hatred for everything black "from Touissaint to the I>evil" 
culminated in the Ku Klux outrages. These secret clans 
organized for mutual protection from criminals in localities 
where the civil authority was too weak to be effective, 
finally developed into a political organization for the 
suppression of the new suft'ragers. It was forgotten that 
questions of ' 'social equality," questions which deal with 
humanity in the concrete, "make problem not for head 
but heart." Consequently the restoration of the Southern 
States to their sovereignty was delayed. Before a relation 
of events in North Carolina during this period, some 
consideration must be given to the attitude of the law- 
makers of the Nation toward the States that were to be 
re-admitted to the Union. 

The problems connected with the restoration of the 
Union to its former dimensions were the most serious that 
ever claimed the attention of Congress. It is no wonder 
then that those entrusted to the task should hold conliicting 
opinions as to the work in hand. Briefly stated, two 
theories demanded the attention of Congress. One may be 
called the "restoration" theory, its genesis was in the 
mind of Lincoln — the other, that of '-reconstruction," a 
conception of existing conditions held exclusively by the 
President's opponents. So the issue of the time, from a 
standpoint of legislation, was one of administration and 
executive supremacy. Congress or the President? The 
central point in the struggle was the status of the seceding 
States, and the history of Reconstruction may be said to 
begin with Lincoln's inaugural. All eyes were directed to 
the President-elect and his position regarding the affected 
States. The only expression on the question of the hour 
in his address was as follows :* 

*For facts concerning Congressional Debates, tlie author is indebted to 
S. S. Cox's "Three Decades of Federal Legislation,'' and E. G. White's 
"Reconstruction During the Civil War." 

92 . William W. Holdex. 

<l It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere notion, 
can lawfully get out of the Union ; that resolves and ordinances to that effect 
are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, 
against the authority of the United States, are insurrectory or revolution- 
ary, according to circumstances. I therefore consider that in view of the 
Constitution and the laws, the union is unbroken." 

The President's notion was then, that a seceding State 
was yet in the Union. i; Once in the Union, always in." But 
the Union's attitude in case of rebellion was not stated. 

At first Lincoln was given entire support in his conduct 
toward the South and also in his views as to a State's 
relation to the Union. But harmony did not long remain. 
The first evidence of division of or>inion was on July 22, 
1861, when Representative Crittenden introduced the 
following resolution : 

"That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country 
by the dis-unionists of the Southern States, now in arms against the consti- 
tutional government and in arms around the capitol ; that in the National 
emergency, congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, 
will recollect only its duty to the whole country ; that this war is not waged 
on our part in any spirit of oppression or for any purpose of conquest or 
subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or 
established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the 
supremacy of the constitution, and to preserve the Union with all its dig- 
nity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpared ; and that as soon 
as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease." 

This resolution passed with only two dissenting votes. 
A few days later Andrew Johnson introduced a similar 
resolution in the Senate. It was adopted. But on Decem- 
ber 4, less than live months later, the resolution was again 
offered in the House and was tabled, the vote standing 
seventy-one ayes and sixty-five nays. At the same time 
Charles Sumner introduced in the Senate a resolution 
declaring that : 

"Any vote of Secession or other act by which any State may undertake 
to put an end to the supremacy of the Constitution within its territory, is 
inoperative and void against the Constitution and when maintained by 
force it becomes a practical abdication by the State of all rights under the 
Constitution while the treason which it involves still further works an 
instant forfeiture of all those functions and powers essential to the con tin- 

Historical Papers. 93 

ued existence of the State as a body politic. So that from that time forward 
the territory falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress as other 
territory, and the State being, according to the language of the law, felo- 
da se, ceases to exist. " 

Although no action was taken upon this resolution, it 
foreshadows the future policy of Congress, executed with 
martial force. The lines were being drawn. Congress was 
falling into a mood foreshadowed by Thaddeus Stevens 
when he said : 

"Mr. Speaker, I thought the time had come when the laws of war were 
to govern cmr action : when constitutions, if they stood in the way of the 
laws of war in dealing with the enemy, had no right to interfere.'' ( Aug. 
2, 1861.) 

It is impossible here to trace the growth of that spirit 
that caused Congress to ignore the indestructibility of the 
State. It was due to the unusual authorities exercised by 
Congress during the war, the numerous appropriations 
and confiscation bills, the border State issues, and the 
thousand and one questions involved in military opera- 
tions. Perhaps one of the most important of these 
influences was the emancipation of slaves, an act that 
transcended many constitutional technicalities. In Janu- 
ary, 1863, Thaddeus Stevens in prophetic words portrayed 
the future policy of Congress : 

"I desire to say.' he said, 'that I know perfectly well . . . I do not speak 
the sentiments of this side of the House as a party. I know more than 
that ; that for the last fifteen years I have always been a step ahead of the 
party I have acted within these matters: but I have never been so far 
ahead, with the exception of the principles I now enunciate, but that the 
members of the party have overtaken me and gone ahead ; and they will 
again overtake me, and go with me, before this infamous and bloody revo- 
lution is ended. They will find that they cannot execute the Constitution 
in the seceding States, that it is a total nullity there, and that this war 
must be carried on upon principles wholly independent of it. They will 
come to the conclusion that the adoption of the measures I advocated at 
the outset of the war, the arming of the negros, the slaves of the rebels, is 
the only way left on earth in which these rebels can be exterminated. 
They will find that they must treat those States now outside of the Union 
as conquered provinces and settle them with new men. and drive the pres- 
ent rebels as exiles from this country ; for I tell you they have the pluck 

94 William W. Holden. 

and endnance for which I gave them credit a year and a half ago, in this 
Bide of the House, nor "by the people in the free States. They have such 
determination, energy and endurance that nothing but actual extermina- 
tion or exile or starvation will ever induce them to surrender to this 
government. I do not now ask gentlemen to endorse my views, nor do I 
speak for anybody but myself; but in order that I may have some credit 
for sagacity, I ask that gentlemen will write this down in their memories. 
It will not be two years before they call it up, or before they will adopt 
my views, or adopt the other alternative of a disgraceful submission by this 
side of the country." 

Another doctrine of the supporters of the Congressional 
policy was the centralization of authority in Congress. In 
a debate on the confiscation of rebel property, Mr. Morril 
of Maine noted that the Nation was in general hostility 
and that it had the power of defense. He then enquired 
in what particular department of the government this 
authority was vested. The answer, he declared, to be in 
Congress itself. 

"In the contingency of actual hostilities the nation assumes a new and 
extraordinary character, involving new relations and conferring new rights, 
imposing extraordinary obligations on the citizens, and subjecting them to 
extraordinary penalties. There is then, no limit on the power of Congress ; 
but it is invested with the absolute powers of war — the civil functions of 
the government are, for the time being, in abeyance when in conflict, and 
all state and national authority subordinated to the extreme authority of 
Congress, as the supreme power, in the peril of external or internal hostil- 
ities. The ordinary provisions of the Constitution peculiar to a State of 
peace, and all laws and municipal regulations, must yield to the force of 
moral law, as resolved by Congress." 

This utterance was revolutionary for it demanded a path 
of action over a prostrate constitution but that had already 
been taken by the seceding States. 

All the combined hosts of the opposition, however, could 
not prevail on the President, whose views were safely 
entrenched behind his wonderful personality. His mes- 
sage of December 8, 1863, contained the first formulated 
plan for reconstruction. The policy of this message pro- 
vided for a general amnesty except in the following cases 
— all who deserted judicial positions or seats in Congress 
or posts in the army and navy to joiu the Confederacy — 

Historical Papers. 95 

also all officers in the Confederate army above the rank of 
colonel or lieutenant in the navy and all of any grade who 

maltreated colored or white prisoners. With this intro- 
duction, Mr. Lincoln proceeded to set forth his plan of 

"Whenever, in any of the eleven States in rebellion, a number of persons 
not less than one -tenth of the number of votes cast in such State a' the 
Presidential election of the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
and sixty, each having taken the oath aforesaid (the amnesty oath), and not 
having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of 
the State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and 
excluding all others, shall re-establish a State government, which shall be 
republican, and in no wise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized 
as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder 
the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that 'the L'nited 
States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of 
government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and. on appli- 
cation of the Legislature, or the executive (when the Legislature cannot be 
convened) against violence' " 

In the House that part of the message dealing with the 
the duty of the United States to guarantee a republican 
government to those States where the constitution was 
overthrown, was referred to a committee. Its report was 
adopted by a majority of eight, another evidence of the 
conflicting opinions on reconstruction in the House. The 
outline of the bill was as follows, as related by Cox, 
"Three Decades of Federal Legislation, " p. 339 : 

"The President was authorized to appoint a provisional Governor for 
each of the States declared in rebellion, with the pay and emoluments of a 
Brigadier-General. He was to be charged with the civil administration 
until a State government should be recognized. The Governors were to 
direct the United States Marshals to enroll all the white male citizens of 
the United States resident within the respective States as soon as the insur- 
rection should be suppressed, and whenever a majoritj- of them should take 
the oath of allegiance. The loyal people thus to be ascertained were 
authorized to elect delegates to conventions for the purpose of re-establish- 
ing the State governments. Qualified voters in the United States Army 
were allowed to vote in camps. No person who had held or exercised any 
civil or military office (except offices ministerial, and military offices below 
the grade of Colonel), State or Confederate, created by the usurping power. 
to be recognized or paid by the State. The constitutions framed by 

96 William W. Holden. 

the conventions of the several States were to he ratified by the people and 
reported to the President, who would lay them before Congress; and upon 
their approval by that body, the President would make proclamation 
recognizing the governments so established, and none others; whereupon 

the people might proceed to the election of members of Congress, and exer- 
cise all other functions of co-equal States. In the mean time the Governor 
would enforce the laws of the Union and of the particular State, as they 
existed before the rebellion, except as regards slavery." 

In the Senate ("he bill was passed with two amendments, 
one fixing' the salary of provisional Governor at 83,000 per 
annum, the other striking out the word "white" where it 
occurred in defining the qualifications of voters and office- 
holders. Mr. Brown offered a substitute depriving the 
people of the rebellious States of the right to elect Senators 
and representatives to Congress and Presidential electors 
until the rebellion should be suppressed and the return of 
the States be recognized by the President. This was 
accepted and the bill passed its final reading. There was 
some hitch when the measure reached the House, but it 
finally passed both Housp and Senate. In the main it 
conformed with Mr. Lincoln's plans. But he rejected it 
because its provisions would have necessitated the over- 
throw of the inchoate State governments established 
according to Presidential plans and proclamations in 
Arkansas and Louisiana. This action of President Lincoln 
was seriously considered. Senators Davis and Wade 
charged him with perpetrating : 

"A studied ontrage upon the legislative authority of the people.'' 

Also : 

"If electors for President be allowed to be chosen in either of those States, 
a sinster ligfct will be cast on the motives which induced the President to 
hold for naught the will of Congress, rather than Ins government in Loui- 
siana and Arkansas." 

On January 30. I860, a resolution passed both the House 
and Senate and received the signature of the President 
which refused to accept any electoral votes from the States 
in insurrection. Applications were made for the admis- 

Historical Papers. 97 

sion of Senators from Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas, 

but they were continued until the next session. 

Just four days before his assassination, Mr. Lincoln 
made the following statement concerning Reconstruction 
— among the very last words addressed to the public by 
him. Throughout his career he had foreborne to make any 
statement of his views on the status of the seceding States — 
the very question that was the key to all the debates in 
Congress on Union attitude toward the Confederacy. 

"As appears to me,' he said, 'that question has not been, nor yet is, a 
practically material one, and any discussion of it, vrhile it thus remains 
practically immaterial, could have no effect other than the mischievous one 
of dividing our friends. As yet, whatever it may hereafter become, 
that question is bad, as the basis of a controversy, and good for nothing 
at all— a merely pernicious abstraction. We all agree that that the 
seceded States, so-called, are out of their proper practical relation with the 
Union, and that the sole object of the government, civil and military, in 
regard to those States, is to again get them in that proper political relation. 
I believe it is not only possible, but in fact, easier to do this without decid- 
ing, or even considering, whether these States have ever been out of the 
Union, than with it. Finding themselves safely at home, it would be 
utterly immaterial whether they had ever been abroad.'' 

The death of President Lincoln was of the most serious 
import to the peaceful restoration of the seceded States. 
His attitude toward the subject States was most friendly as 
well as most watchful. Foreseeing the difficulties that 
should follow the admission of an ignorant people to full 
citizenship, he suggested in his amnesty proclamation that 
the Southern States be allowed to institute a guardianship 
for the negro. Thaddeus Stevens proposed that; the South 
be held under military rule for ten years until the negro 
might be educated to take an equal civil position with the 
white. To Lincoln's death may be attributed the frauds 
of the Freedman's Bureau and many other evils that 
marked the administration of far inferior successors. 

Andrew Johnson, Mr. Lincoln's successor, though a 
native Southerner, pursued a far less liberal policy toward 
the South. Though he in the main followed the outlines 


98 William W. Holden. 

of his predecessor's policy and opposed the radical views 
of Congress, his amnesty conditions were more stringent 
than those of Lincoln. In addition to the classes excepted 
in Lincoln's proclamation, Johnson excluded the follow- 

"All officers who had resided or tendered resignations of their commis- 
sions in the army or navy of the United States, to evade duty in resisting 
rebellion. All persons who had been or were then, absentees from the 
United States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion. All military or naval 
officers in the rebel service who were educated by the Government in the 
military academy at West Point, or the United States Military Academy. 
All persons who had the pretended offices of governors of States in insur- 
rection against the United States. All persons who had left their homes 
within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and passed 
beyond the Federal military lines into the pretended Confederate States for 
the purpose of aiding the rebellion. All persons who had been engaged in 
the destruction of the commerce of the United States upon the high seas. 
All persons who had made raids into the United States from Canada, or 
been engaged in destroying the commerce of the United States upon the 
lakes and rivers that separate the British provinces from the United States. 
All persons who at the time might seek to obtain the benefits of the amnesty 
by taking the oath presented in the proclamation and were in military, 
naval, or civil confinement or custody, or under bonds of the civil, military 
or naval authorities or agents of the United States, or prisoners of war, or 
who were detained for offences of any kind, either before or after conviction. 
All persons who had voluntarily participated in the rebellion and the 
estimated value of whose taxable property was over twenty thousand 
dollars — and all persons who had taken the oath of amnasty as presented in 
the President's proclamation of December 8, 1883, or an oath of allegiance 
to the government of the United States since the date of that proclamation, 
and who did not keep and maintain the same inviolate." (Cox's "Three 
Deacons," p. 347.) 

On May 29, 1865, the day of the Amnesty proclamation, 
President Johnson also stated his policy of reconstruction 
in another proclamation, a document closely related to the 
history of Xorth Carolina, Mr. Johnson's native State. 
The constitutional grounds for his action are thus told : 

"The fourth section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United 
States declares that the United States shall guarantee to every State in the 
Union a republican form of government — and shall protect each of them 
against invasion and domestic violence; and, whereas, the President of the 
United States is by the Constitution made Commander-in-Chief of the army 


Historical Papers. 99 

and navy, as well as chief civil executive officer of the United States, and 
is bound by solemn oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the 
United States, and to take care that the lawi be faithfully executed; and. 
whereas, the rebellion which has been waged by a portion of the | 
the United States against the properly constituted authorities of the govern- 
ment thereof in the most violent and revolting form, but whose organized 
and armed forces have now been almost entirely overcome, has in its revo- 
lutionary progress deprived the people of North Carolina of civil govern- 
ment; and, whereas, it becomes necessary and proper to cany out and 
enforce the obligations of the United States to the people of North Carolina, 
in securing them in the enjoyment of a republican form of government; 
now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States and 
Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, do hereby 
appoint William W. Holden Provisional Governor of the State of North 
Carolina. ' ' 

According to directions, Mr. Holden was to call a State 
convention at the earliest time practicable. The purpose 
of the convention was to amend and alter the State Consti- 
tution. No persons were eligible who might be included 
in the fourteen excepted classes of the Amnesty proclama- 
tion, and all voters must first take the oath of allegiance. 
Special applications for pardon by those under ban might 
be made through Mr. Holden. This was the first of a 
series of similar proclamations and appointments, and it 
may be said to end the first chapter in Reconstruction from 
the national point of view. 

Let us now turn to events in North Carolina and study 
them as they relate to Mr. Holden\s life. 

In May, 1865, he tells us in his unpublished memoirs. 
he was summoned to Washington by President Johnson, 
who requested him to bring with him such other gentle- 
men as he might choose. Mr. Holden invited William S. 
Mason, R. P. Dick, John G. Williams. J. P. II. Russ and 
W. R. Richardson. These gentlemen, with the exception of 
Mr. Dick, who lived in Greensboro, resided in Raleigh. 
Others, representing different sections of the State, Mr. 
Holden would have summoned, but time would not per- 
mit, as his orders were imperative. Governors Swain and 
Vance, B. P. Moore and William Eaton were alreadv in 

100 William W. Holden. 

Washington. When Mr. Holden arrived, President John- 
son asked him to furnish names for appointment to oil 
in North Carolina. Mr. Holden's nominations were as 
follows : District Judge, Mr. Dick ; District Attorney, 
Wm. L. Mason; Marshall, W. R. Richardson, and J. P. 
H. Russ, Postmaster of Raleigh. Dr. Robert Powell was 
appointed State Agent to represent North Carolina in 
Washington. Holden asked Mr. Powell what he thouhgt 
would be done with the Confederate Governors. Mr. 
Powell replied that they would all be hanged. Holden 
answered that if that course were pursued, reconstruction 
would be impossible, that Yance had the same relation to 
North Carolina that Davis sustained to the entire South. 
In the mean time Governor Vance was a prisoner in Wash- 
ington. Holden did not visit him in person, on account 
of their relations during the days of the Peace movement, 
but privately offered him his services. In July, when 
Holden had returned to the State, he received news of 
Mrs. Vance's serious illness. He at once telegraphed to 
Washington, asking that Governor Yance be released. In 
a few hours he received an answer, that Governor Yance 
was on his way home on parole. 

In regard to the treatment of the more wealthy Southern 
planters, President Johnson told Holden that he expected 
to confiscate the estates of the large slave-holders who 
were traitors, and would divide the proceeds among the 
"wool hat boys'' of the South, who fought for slavery 
against their will. Holden and Dick remonstrated. Pres- 
ident Johnson acquiesced, but said: ''Gentlemen, treason 
must be made odious, and coming generations ought to 
know it and profit by it." 

At the request of President Johnson, all the North Car- 
olina men in the city met him at an appointed time. 
During the meeting Governor Swain took Holden outside 
and asked him not to accept the Provisional Governorship. 
Holden thought that Governor Swain had apprehensions 

Historical Papers. 101 

for the University of which he was the President. Holden 
assured him that he was friendly to the institution, and 
need have no fears for its safety if he (Holden) received 

the appointment. "We had walked from the White House 
to a point overlooking the statue of General Jackson," 
says Mr. Holden, -'and when we returned, as we did very 
slowly, to the ambassadors, where the President and his 
friends were, it was announced that I had been appointed 
Provisional Governor." This account of Mr. Holden's is 
important, for it discredits the popular opinion that North 
Carolina was not consulted in the appointment of Holden 
as Provisional Governor. 

Having returned to North Carolina, the Provisional 
Governor at once entered upon the duties of his office. 
His duties were burdensome, for to him had been en- 
trusted the work of reorganizing civil government, and 
all officers, from county sheriffs and constables to the 
highest State officials, were subject to his appointment. 
Robert W. Best was appointed Secretary of State; Jona- 
than Worth, Treasurer, and David H. Barnes. Edward J. 
Warren, Daniel G. Fowle, Ralph P. Buxton, Robert B. 
Gilliam, Edwin G. Read and Anderson Mitchell. Supreme 
Court Judges, and Sion H. Rogers, Attorney-General. 
Many of those who accepted offices and positions of trust 
from Mr. Holden, were later his political opponents and 

Governor Holden has been for years accused of trying to 
place the negro on a plane of -social equality" with the 
white man. But an examination of his Inaugural Address 
fails to justify the charge. That part addressed to the 
negro was full of good council, but not a word could have 
the remotest kinship to -social equality.' ' 

"To the colored people of the State I would say, you are now free. It 
now remains for you, aided as you will be by the superior intelligence of 
the white people and cheered by the sympathies of all good people, to 
decide whether the freedom thus suddenly bestowed upon you will be a 
blessing to you or a source of injury. Your race has been depressed by 

102 William W. Holder. 

your condition of slavery and by the legislation of your former ma^rs for 
two hundred years. It is not to be expected that you can soon comprehend 
and appreciate as they should be comprehended and appreciated by a self, 
governing people, the wise provisions and limitations of the constitution 
and laws But you are free, in common with all our people, and yon 

have the same right, regulated by law, that others have, to enter upon the 
pursuit of prosperity and happiness. You should henceforth sacredly 
observe the marriage relation and you should provide for your offspring. 
. . . But to be prosperous and happy you must labor, not merely when 
you feel like it or for a scanty support, but industriously and steadily, with 
a view to making and laying up something for your families . . . The 
same Providence thai has bestowed freedom upon you. has told you that 
diligence in business is required of all His creatures, and you cannot expect 
that your race will escape ultimate extinction if you wilfully violate or 
disregard this, one of His great commandments I will see to it as 

far as I can, that you have your liberty; that you are protected in your 
property and persons; .and that you are paid your wages, but on the other 
hand. I will set my face against those of you who are idle and dissipated, 
and prompt punishment will be inflicted for any breach of the peace or 
violation of the law . It is my duty, as far as I can, to render the 

government 'a terror to evil doers and a praise to those that do well.' 
And this I will endeavor to do in relation to the whole people of the State 
of North Carolina, 'without fear, favor or ailection, reward or the hope of 
reward. ' ' ' 

One of the most delicate duties of Governor Holden was 
the endorsement of pardons. It was provided that those 
who were excluded from citizenship by the Amnesty proc- 
lamation might secure pardon. Applications must be made 
through the Provisional Governors of the States. Holden 
had won the enmity of all the old line Democrats by his 
action with the Peace party. Xow many of these, as well 
as the survivors of the Whigs, were compelled to apply to 
him before their disabilities could be removed. It is not 
my intention to make the basis of this paper the unfortu- 
nate personal animosities that were so bitter during this 
period. But a few accounts of the issue of pardons from 
Governor Holden' s private memoirs are valuable, if not 
necessary, for they are a sidelight on the political feelings 
of the time. 

"I received every day a large number of applications for 
pardons, which I read carefully. I was the medium through 

Historical Papers. 103 

which these applications went to the President, and my 
duty was to mark them granted, postponed or rejected, 
not that I did that, bat they were thus marked for the 
President. It was for him to grant them, postpone or 
reject them. During my term of seven months about 
twelve hundred pardons were thus obtained from the 
President. I asked him during all of this time to reject 
only four. Some were postponed, and some were granted. 

"About the middle of my term, in August, ex-Governor 
Graham came to Raleigh. I was sick at the time and con- 
fined to my house, and did not see him. He filed in my 
office his application for pardon, addressed to the Presi- 
dent, When I got back to my office I read his application 
carefully, and was pleased with it. It was an able and 
truthful paper. I raised up from my place in the office 
and approached Maj. Bagley, who was pardon clerk, and 
asked him to endorse ex-Governor Graham's paper, his 
pardon to be granted by the President at once. Colonel 
Cannon, one of my aides, who was standing by, said to me, 
"Governor, have you seen the New York Herald of this 
morning?" I said "No, what of it?" He said, "The 
Her old says that Governor Graham has been jmrdoned 
already, and you are engaged in pardoning a great many 
unpardoned rebels. I would advise you to send on the 
paper and mark it 'continued,' and in a few weeks see the 
President and ask him to send the pardon." Col. Cannon 
and Maj. Bagley were both old line Whigs, or had been, 
and both devoted friends to Governor Graham, as I was. 
I took his advice and continued his case. They advised 
me to pursue this course and not grant the pardon immedi- 
ately, lest the Radicals North should complain and lose 
confidence in the President. 

"In the course of a week or so, being still feeble on account 
of my hard labor. I went to Kedrick Sx^rings and there 
saw Mr. Don Webb. In the course of a conversation with 
him, I said, "I hope ex-Governor Graham will soon have 

104 William W. Hold en. 

his pardon, and that he can enter public life and be of 
great service to us." On my return to Raleigh, I found 
that he had written a communication in the Hillsboro 
Recorder assailing the constitutionality of Congress. The 
communication referred to was published in the Hillsboro 
Recorder and Ealeigh Sentinel, and of course, excited 
attention. We were then under military rule and it was 
not therefore proper that an unpardoned person asking for 
pardon should write in that way over his own name. 

"Meanwhile, the Hon. Josiah Turner called on me at my 
office and had a long and warm conversation with me in 
regard to his pardon and that of ex- Governor Graham. 
I told Mr. Turner I could not tell him what endorsement 
I had made on his application, or that of Governor Gra- 
ham. They were both leading public men, and it was not 
my habit to give information of that kind, but would tell 
him of one case of a private citizen and of what I had 
done. I said. "The summer you wrote your father's appli- 
cation for a pardon he owned a large amount of lands. He 
was no doubt apprehensive that it might be confiscated. 
You made him say that if he had been a young man he 
would have shouldered his musket and fought for the 
South. I feared that this expression might move the 
President to refuse his pardon, whereupon I wrote a note 
of it that your father was an old man and had been a Henry 
Clay Whig, and that the President might overlook the 
expression and send the pardon. I received the pardon 
by return mail and sent it to your father at Hillsboro. I 
found it impossible to satisfy Mr. Turner, and he left my 
office evidently unsatisfied. About this time Mr. Turner 
made a speech in Ealeigh. I did not hear him. The 
speech was said to be against me and my policy of Recon- 
struction. Under all these circumstances it was not to be 
reasonably expected that I would at that time write to the 
President to forward either of these pardons. I had the 
greatest respect for Governor Graham and did not intend 


Historical Papers. 105 

to be in the way of his pardon. If he could have come to 
Raleigh and the whole matter explained between us. I 
would no doubt have written to the President and obtained 
his pardon. 

"An old and esteemed friend of mine, now dead. Council 
Wooten, of Lenoir county, called on me several times for 
his pardon. I put him off, but having heard at last from 
his friends and neighbors in relation to his application and 
merits, I obtained his pardon. I will make this statement 
also in relation to Governor Bragg. I had marked his 
application to be continued as Governor Graham's was 
marked. The rmckage containing a number of pardons 
w r as received in my office by express, and Colonel Cannon 
opened it and much to his surprise found Governor Bragg' s 
pardon. He said, "You marked this application to be con- 
tinued." I said, "I did." He then removed it and put it 
in my drawer in my room. In a few days Governor Bragg 
called for his pardon. The clerks in the office of the Private 
Secretary said it was not there. In a few days Dr. Powell. 
State Agent, who handed these pardons, came to Raleigh 
and asked for Governor Bragg' s pardon. I told him the 
facts. He told me that the President told him the pardon 
had been received and I might just as well give it to 
Governor Bragg. Dr. Powell then said he did not know 
that it was Governor Bragg's, but thought it was plain 
Thomas Bragg. I told him I was not disposed to treat 
Governor Brasrg unkindly, but he had not been to see me 
since I was Governor, but if he would call on me as I 
returned from the office, I would hand him his pardon my- 
self. Governor Bragg called in that day, 29th December, 
1865, and I handed him his pardon.* 

"One day toward the close of my term, Col. Tod R. 
Caldwell, who had lately been to Hillsboro, said to me 
that Mr. P. C. Cameron was much concerned about his 

*Note. — Governors Brasrg and Graham were two of the prosecutors in 
Governor Holden's impeachment. 


106 William W. Holden. 

application for a pardon. I told Col. Caldwell that the 
President was not disposed to favor applications for con- 
spicuous persons who had been engaged in the rebellion. 
I could not therefore recommend Mr. Cameron's pardon 
just then. He said that Mr. Cameron was in town and out 
in the passage in the Capitol. He said that he was in 
attendance at the Episcopal Conference. I asked him to 
request Mr. Cameron to come in. He did so, and I received 
him very politely indeed. I told him what I had just said 
to Col. Caldwell, and furthermore I had no apprehension 
of the confiscation of the property. This did not seem 
to satisfy him, and I at last said, "Mr. Cameron, I will 
obtain your pardon from the President. " He seemed very 
glad at what I had said, and said to me, ''Governor, please 
bear in mind that my father-in-law, Judge Ruffin wishes 
to know before he dies, how much he is worth. I replied, 
"Mr. Cameron, I am glad you have mentioned Judge 
Ruffin. He and Governor Morehead stood in the Peace 
Congress like rocks in the union. I will see your applica- 
tion to-day," and at the same time asked the President to 
send pardon to Judge Ruffin and Governor Morehead. I 
have no doubt that the pardons of Judge Ruffin, Governor 
Morehead and Colonel Cameron were all granted and sent. 
It affords me pleasure to be the humble servant through 
wliich they were obtained. There were two persons pos- 
sessed of large means, who obtained their pardons from 
the President directly, when I had not consented to it, and 
the President, when informed of the fact, telegraphed me 
advising me to tax each one of these persons for thus 
obtaining their pardons, 810,000 each by way of punish- 
ment, which, of course, I declined to do. . . . 

"I was robust and in good health when I entered on my 
duties, but at the end of them I was thin and shallow and 
and weak,* so intensely had I labored as I thought for 
North Carolina.*' 

For his expenses and services Governor Holden received 

Historical Papers. 107 

seven thousand dollars. This was careful] y and econom- 
ically expended, many minor contingencies of the executive 
office being paid for out of the Governor's private purge. 
He also induced President Johnson to turn over to the 
State the remains of its war property, valued at one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This was done for 
no other State. President Johnson was also influenced to 
suspend the Federal land tax in Guilford county. When 
Governor Holden retired, there was a surplus of forty 
thousand dollars in the State Treasury. 

In the mean time, a State convention had been called by 
Governor Holden. It met in Raleigh, October 2, 1S65. 
The ordnance of secession was repealed, slavery prohibited 
and its acts were ratified by a popular vote. In the plans of 
President Johnson, the State was now ready to govern 
itself. An election was ordered. The candidates for 
Governor were Holden and Worth, the State Treasurer. 
Neither took an active part in the campaign. Mr. Worth 
was elected by a large majority. This was regarded as a 
reaction against the Union and President Johnson sent the 
following letter to Governor Holden: 

Hon. W. W. Holden, Provisional Governor: 

Accept my thanks for the valuable and efficient manner m which you 
have discharged your duty as Provisional Governor. You will be sustained 
by the Government. 

The results of the recent election in North Carolina have greatly dam- 
aged the prospects of the State in the restoration of its governmental 
relations. Should the action and spirit of the Legislature be in the same 
direction, it will greatly increase the mischief already done and might be 

It is hoped the action and spirit manifested by the Legislature will be so 
directed, as rather to repair than increase the difficulties under which the 
State has already placed itself. 

Andrew Johnson, 
President United Scates. 

108 WlLLIAM W. Holder. 

PART IV. —Reconstruction to Canby Constitution. 

The omens of peril in President Johnson's letter were 
prophetic and soon to be fulfilled. The defeat if the 
Union candidates in Nortn Carolina and other Southern 
States was sufficient to give a hostile tendency to the 
relations of Congress to the States to be restored to the 
Union. This tendency was precipitated into a fixed poliry 
by the actions of the Southern Legislatures. In certain 
States laws were passed that classed as vagrants all negroes 
who refused to work for prescribed wages. Many minor 
offences were to be punished by tine, and if the fine were 
not paid, the offending negro was worked out by process 
of law. An apprentice system was in some States adopted 
which considered the negro bound to service until a cer- 
tain age. Some such laws seemed necessary to the South- 
ern law-makers to regulate the liberated slave. But when 
complaints were riled at Washington, Congress was alarmed 
and regarded these laws as wilful and direct violations of 
the freedom of the negro. 

The first step in retaliation was the refusal to admit 
Southern Congressmen until Congress should declare them 
entitled to represent their States. Then the Fourteenth 
Amendment was adopted, which declared all ''persons 
born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the 
jurisdiction thereof," citizens of the United States and of 
the States where they resided. In other words, the negro 
was granted the right to vote and placed on an equal civil 
basis with the white race. The Amendment also excluded 
prominent Confederates from Federal offices until pardoned 
by Congress, and invalidated the Confederate war debts. 
This Amendment must be ratified in each Southern State 
before its orovernment should be recognized bv Congress. 
At the same time a committee reported that the govern- 
ments in the Southern States were practically suspended 
and that those States could not be re-instated in the Union 
until they should give pledges of their loyalty. This vir- 

Historical Papers. 100 

tually ignored President Johnson's plans of restoration. 
It was a challenge by Congress. He accepted the issue. 
From this time on the fight between Congress and the 
Executive was open and bitter. It culminated in the 
impeachment of President Johnson and. says Mr. Dun- 
ning, "the single vote by which Andrew Johnson escaped 
conviction, marks the narrow margin by which the presi- 
dential element in our system escaped destruction/'* 

In October the Southern States began to reject the Four- 
teenth Amendment. This prepared the way i'or the famous 
Reconstruction Act of March, 1867. Under the provisions 
of this law the Southern States, with the exception of 
Tennessee, which had been recognized, were divided into 
five military districts, whose commanders were to be 
appointed by the President. These commanders were to 
enroll in each state all male citizens of one year's residence 
not disqualified to vote by crime or the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment. These citizens were to elect members for State 
conventions. These conventions were to extend the fran- 
chise to all classes permitted to vote for the convention 
and form constitutions. These constitutions were to be 
submitted to Congress, and if approved the States were 
admitted to representation and declared in the Union, pro- 
vided the first General Assembly meeting after the adop- 
tion of the Constitution should endorse the Fourteenth 

This, briefly, is an outline of the Congressional plan of 
Reconstruction. An extended examination of all its rela- 
tions to Southern history, and especially to that of North 
Carolina, is here impossible. That is a work greater than 
the limits of these papers allow, a work much needed, as 
yet undone. A volume might be written on phases of 
Reconstruction in North Carolina and as much be left 
unsaid. As time and space are passing, only those topics 

♦Studies in Civil War and Reconstruction. — W. A, Dunning. 


110 William W. Holden. 

that relate most intimately to Governor Holden' s policy 
will be discussed. 

General Daniel E. Sickles was appointed Commander of 
the Second Military District, composed of North and South 
Carolina. His headquarters were Charleston. On the day 
he assumed command. March 21, 1887, he issued a procla- 
mation in sympathy with the principles of the Reconstruc- 
tion Acts. The government of North Carolina was declared 
provisional and subject to Congress. Local laws were 
allowed to be enforced when not contrary to the Union, 
and cases of neglect of civil officers were to be reported to 
the Commander. In April, General Sickles removed two 
policemen in Wilmington for lack of discretion in making 
arrests and violence in discharging their duties This and 
similar acts by other commanders caused the Attorney- 
General to publish an opinion that the Reconstruction 
Acts did not give the commanders power to supersede the 
civil law. General Sickles regarded this as an impeach- 
ment of his administration and resigned. His resignation 
was not accepted. Next he forbade Sheriffs to execute 
civil process in the sale of property. In Xorth Carolina 
the Sheriff was about to disobey the order, when he was 
stopped by special order of Sickles. Finally the case was 
appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, and 
Chief Justice Chase decided that "the military authority 
does not extend in any respect to the courts of the. United 
States.' ' General Sickles in the meantime ordered a regis- 
tration of voters as required by Congress. Before the 
plans of Congress could be carried out. General Sickles 
was removed and General Canby was appointed commander. * 
Under his administration voters registered, the members 
of the convention were elected, the first instance of negro 
suffrage in North Carolina, the Fourteenth Amendment 
was adopted, and a new Constitution was framed, which 

*• 'Three Decades of Federal Legislation." —Cox. 

Historical Papers. Ill 

was called the "Canby Constitution." This began a re- 
organization of the State government according to the 
provisions of the new Constitution. In 18(58 elections w 

held and. as the negroes went to the poles, seven Repre- 
sentatives were sent to Congress who belonged to the 
Union or Republican ['arty. The Governorship was from 
this time on a four years' office. The candidates were 
Thomas Ashe, Democrat, and Holden. supported by the 
Republicans. Holden was elected by over eighteen thou- 
sand majority. Thus was kept the vow made by the 
chilled newsboy a q/aarter-centiiry before. The well edu- 
cated, finely clothed young man who had condescended to 
butter a biscuit for an apprentice no doubt keenly felt the 
irony of fate, when the election returns were published 
and approved by General Canby. Let us review briefly 
the political career of the Governor-elect. 

Born in obscurity, by perseverance and industry he 
gradually rose to some local prominence in old Whig cir- 
cles. When his brethren in Whiggery were unaware, he 
joined the Democrats, and in a few years became one 
of the leaders in the Free Suffrage campaigns which struck 
the death blow to the supremacy of the old aristocracy. 
An elderly lady whose mind is ripe with the memories of 
our ante bellum history, says that his alliance with the 
"scalawag Democrats" lost for him social recognition in 
Whig circles. He was ostracised by the professed leaders 
of North Carolina's '-blue veins." How much more bitter 
must that ostracism have become in the days of Free Suf- 
frage agitation ! An ardent admirer of Calhoun, those who 
knew Holden' s influence as ;i one who could kill and make 
alive," declare that he was the strongest State's-right man 
in Carolina. His lines on the death of Calhoun must be 
be classed with the best poems written in the State. Then 
his views changed. He became a TJnion-Donglas Demo- 
crat and stood for the Union till the last, and finally signed 
the Ordinance of Secession. He was reconciled to many ox 

112 William W. Holder. 

his old enemies, the best of relations were established with 
his old rivals, and then lie joined the ''Peace men," and op- 
posed Vance and the continuation of the war. Old wounds 
were opened. When the war closed, it was the hope of the 
Southern leaders to reorganize and continue the State 
governments as they were in the days before Secession. 
What must have been the chagrin of the survivors of the 
old system in North Carolina when Holden, their arch 
enemy, who had so often supported and as often opposed 
them, was made Provisional Governor! They had been 
conquered, but they could not submit to all the dictates of 
the conqueror. Holden had been appointed Provisional 
Governor undoubtedly because of Johnson's sympathy for 
him. Both had begun life in similar circumstances and 
had worked to success slowly, but surely. Nothing was 
more natural than that Holden should be selected to 
represent the Union in the reorganization of civil authority 
just after the cessation of hostilities. Nothing was more 
natural than that those whose lives were so inextricably 
bound to the legends of former days, should rise and defeat 
him who dared disregard their traditions. When the mon- 
ster does not down at their bidding, but is victorious in a 
popular election, all the discontent breaks forth in one 
demonstration of despair. This is the protest of Worth, 
the retiring Governor, which he presented to the Governor- 
elect when the keys to the Executive office were surren- 
dered. It reads as follows : 

State of North Carolina, Executive Department, 

Raleigh, Julv l, 1868. 
Gov. W. W. Holden, Raleigh, A T . C: 

Sir: — Yesterday morning I was verbally notified by Chief Justice Pearson 
that in obedience to a telegram from General Canby, he would to-day, at 
10 a ra., administer to you the oath required preliminary to your entering 
upon the discharge of the duties of Civil Governor of the State; and that, 
therefore, you would demand possession of my office. 

I intimated to the Judge my opinion that such proceeding was prema- 
ture, even under the Reconstruction legislation of Congress, and that I 
should probably decline to surrender the office to you. 


Historical Papers. 113 

At sundown, yesterday evening, I received from Colonel Williams, Com- 
mandant of this Military Post, an extract from the General Order No. 120» 
of General Canby, as follows: 

Headquarters Second Military District, 
Charleston, S. C., June 30, 1868. 
General Order No. 120. 


"To facilitate the organization of the new State governments, the follow- 
ing appointments are made: To be Governor of North Carolina, W. W. 
Holden vice Jonathan Worth, removed; to be Lieutenant-Governor of 
North Carolina, Tod. R. Caldwell, Lieutenant-Governor elect, to fill an 
original vacancy — to take effect July 1, 1868, on the meeting of the General 
Assembly of North Carolina." 

I do not recognize the validity of the late election under which you, and 
those co-operating with you, claim to be invested with the Civil govern- 
ment of the State. You have no evidence of your election, save a certificate; 
of a Major-General of the United States Army. 

I regard all of you as, in effect, appointees of the Military power of the 
United States, and not as "deriving your powers from the consent of those 
you claim to govern. '' Knowing, however, that you are backed by military 
force here, which I could not resist if I would, I do not deem it necessary 
to offer a futile opposition, but vacate the office, without the ceremony of 
actual eviction, offering no further opposition than this my protest. 

I would submit to actual expulsion in order to bring before the Supreme 
Court of the United States the question as to the constitutionality of the 
legislation under which you claim to be the rightful Governor of the State, 
if the past action of that tribunal furnished any hope of a speedy trial. I 
surrender the office to you under what I consider military duress, without 
stopping, as the occasion would well justify, to comment upon the singular 
coincidence, that the present State government is surrendered as unthout 
legality, to him whose own official sanction, but three years ago, declared 
it valid. I am, very respectfully, 

Jonathan Worth, 
Governor of North Carolina. 

The opposition begun on the very day of the inaugural 
continued throughout the administration. The Standard 
was the organ of Governor Holden. and the Sentinel, edited 
by Josiah Turner, led the right of the discontented enemies 
of the government. The partisanship of the press has lost 
the charm of the forties. The reader no longer catches 
the spirit of artless, almost juvenile enthusiasm, which 
gave to the most sarcastic editorials a tone of healthy 
humanism. One feels that the times have radically 


114 William W. Holden. 

changed. The fight is now one of life and death ; he who 
once falls shall enter the conflict no more. 

Only two phases of Governor Holden 's administration 
will here be discussed. They are the famous Reconstruc- 
tion Frauds and the Kirk Holden War against the Ku 
Klux. The former was the work of "carpet-baggers" and 
conscienceless citizens of the State. The latter was the 
harsh remedy for insubordination to civil authority as 
revealed in the Ku Klux outrages, and finally resulted in 
the impeachment of the Executive. 

The frauds were connected with the issue of bonds. 
George W. Swepson, a banker and citizen of Raleigh, 
made the following statement to the Investigating Com- 
mittee in 1871 : As President of the Western Division of 
the Western North Carolina Railroad, he was desirous of 
securing the aid of the State in the construction of his 
road. The State promised to subscribe two-thirds of the 
stock for the construction of the road, provided the other 
third was raised by private subscription. The Company 
certified to the Board of Improvements that the necessary 
third had been raised. The Company then turned to the 
Legislature. Mr. Swepson was told by Littlefield and 
Dewesse, lobby lawyers, who had great influence with the 
Legislature, that the Company could not receive the appro- 
priation without paying them ten per centum in kind of 
the appropriation. This was the amount charged to lobby 
through the claims of the Company. Mr. Swepson accepted 
the proposition, the Legislature issued bonds to the amount 
required, and Littlefield and Dewesse received 8241,000 
for their services. The Chatham Railroad Company sold 
to Littlefield 8100.000 worth of stock on a credit of ninety 
days, when the bonds were worth sixty-five cents cash in 
New York. The President, of the Wilmington and Tar- 
boro Road paid 810,000 for a charter. These are only a 
few of the many outrages committed. In the investiga- 
tions no charges were preferred against Governor Holden. 


Historical Papers. 115 

Though the Legislature that issued the bonds has received 
a shadowy reputation, H olden' s name is free from any 
illegal or dishonorable relation with the bonds. In 1876, 
in the Weekly Constitution, he makes the following state- 
ment : 

"I solemnly declare that I never performed any act while Governor or 
signed my name with a view to reward or the hope of reward, and I never 
received a bribe from any one for any of my acts as Governor. . . I had 
no veto power as Governor. I did not pass the bills to issue the bonds. I 
never appealed to any member of the Legislature to vote for these bills. 
The Presidents and Directors of the various Railways did not come to me 
for these bonds but to the Treasurer who had the bonds printed, and who 
first signed them and then turned them over to me to be signed, and 
to have the great seal of the State impressed upon them by my Private 
Secretary. I gave the bonds in strict accordance with law, for the issuing 
of all the bonds save the last batch $6,606,000 to the Wesiarn Railroad. 
The authority to issue these bonds was devolved upon the treasurer in the 
last amended charter and he hesitated for two or three weeks as to whether 
he would order plates and have them printep ; but I encouraged him to do 
it because I wanted the Western peop[e to have those bands, and I was wil- 
ling to stretch the law a little to let shem hvae them ; and I will state 
furthermore that I bevieve the Treasurer was finally convtnced that he 
could legally and properly issue these bonds, by an argument submitted to 
him by Hon. A. S. Merriman. One of Mr. Swepson's counsel. . . . And I 
will state further, that the Treasurer and myself could not decide to issue 
any bonds until we had gone before the Supreme Court in inormal session 
and ascertained for them, distinctly and clearly, what bonds were consti- 
tutional and what were not. ' ' 

If there could have been only evidence against Governor 
Holden in regard to the bonds, it would surely have been 
brought before the Senate in his Impeachment. But no 
charge was made at that time. Whatever may be said of 
his administration, he w T as far better than many of his 
colleagues who have tried to make him responsible in the 
eyes of the public for their many misdemeanors. 

In regard to the Ku Klux in Xorth Carolina, aa well as 
in other Southern States, much has been written. The 
organization made its appearance in the State in 1867 and 
186S, at the same time that the Reconstruction Acts went 
into effect. It may be regarded as a revolt against the 
new system. There were many reasons that demanded the 


116 William W. Holder. 

complete emancipation of the negro and made it necessary 
that that the race should have the right of suffrage. It is 
not my purpose to discuss these. But that the better 
class of the white race were excluded from citizen- 
ship while all of the freedmen were admitted without 
limitation, was unjust. Yet nothing else could have 
resulted from the general trend of events. The institu- 
tion of the secret Klans may be considered a desperate but 
unwise and illegal resistance to the new political conditions 
that faced the Southern people. All restrictions for past 
offences have been removed but the problem is still exist- 
ing and the temper with which the solution is sought will 
be the supreme test the fibre of the nation. In many sec- 
tions a Ku Klux revival would not be impossible or 
unpopulaj. Shall this spirit dominate the relations of the 
two races, or shall one of charity and mutual sympathy 
control our actions? 

Just as the Ku Klux was opposed to the methods of 
Reconstruction, the Union League was an association to 
support the laws and train the negro in the duties of citi- 
zenship. It was organized during the last days of the 
Confederacy. Holden was the President of the League 
until his election. He then severed his relations with the 
organization for he believed that no public officer should 
belong to any secret political order. The ritual of the 
League was full of officious ceremonies formulated to im- 
press the members with the solemnity and dignity of the 
organization. The ; 'emblems' ' were an altar, Bible Decla- 
ration of Independence, a Union Flag, Censer of Insense, 
Sword, Gavel, Ballot-box, and a sickle, shuttle or an 
anvil to represent industry. The pledge of membership 
was, "To obtain and perpetuate Freedom, Political equal- 
ity and an individual Union, I pledge my life, my fortune, 
and my social honor, so help me God." The League was 
virtually an organization to support the Republican party. 
Whatever may be said of its workings, this fact distin- 

Historical Papers. 117 

guishes it from the Ku Klux. It was not an armed society ; 
the Ku Klux was. The League seems to have caused no 
anxiety or disturbance among* the whites until 18G7, when, 
under the influence of the carpet-baggers, the members 
became insolent and in many cases committed offenses 
which were not punished by law. This, said General For- 
rest before the Congressional Committee on Investigation, 
caused the whites to organize the Ku Klux Klan. 

PART V.— Suppression of the Ku Klux— Conclusion. 

The Ku Klux Klan, according to the testimony of David 
Schenck before the Congressional Committee on Investiga- 
tion, was opposed in its very constitution to the Fourteenth 
Amendment. So the Klan appeared in North Carolina as 
soon as the Reconstruction acts went into effect. Within 
three months after his inauguration, Governor Holdcn 
issued a Proclamation in which he stated that the govern- 
ment then in force was constitutionally established and 
warned the people of the sure results of any attempt to 
subvert the civil authority, and called on the magistrates 
and sheriffs to be faithful in the discharge of their duties. 
This address was of no avail. Negroes were whipped and 
disorder and demoralization were general. The Legislature 
which met early in 1869 enacted a law, "making the act of 
going masked, disguised or painted a felony." The gov- 
ernor isued another appeal, invoking public sentiment to 
unite with him in the suppression of the outrages. Neither 
the law nor the proclamation had any influence. In 
January, 1870. a bill passed the Legislature which author- 
ized the Governor, "whenever in his judgment the civil 
authorities in any county are unable to protect its citizens 
in the enjoyment of life and property, to declare such 
county to be in a state of insurrection, and to call into 
active service the militia of the State to such an extent as 
may become necessary to suppress such insurrection ; and 

118 William W. Holdex. 

in such case the Governor is further authorized to call upon 
the President for such assistance, if any, as in his judg- 
ment may be necessary to enforce the law." This was 
called the Shoffner Act from T. M. Shoffner, of Alamance 
County, the member who introduced the bill. He brought 
upon himself the enmity of the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku 
Klux decided to hang him and send his body to Governor 
Holden. The assassins were on their way to execute the 
decree but were persuaded to return, as a Ku Klux friend 
of Shoffner s who knew of the plans had taken him to 
Greensboro, A short time after Shoffner left the State. 
Who the men were who started on the deadly mission has 
not been revealed. They were not Shoffner' s neighbors, 
but came from a distance. The one who took him to 
Geensboro was Eli S. Eustis, a school teacher. 

A short time after the passage of the Shoffner Bill, a 
band of fifty or more Ku Klux entered the town of Graham 
by night, went to the house of Wyatt Outlaw, colored, 
seized him, and hanged him to a tree in the public square 
near the court house. The only offence of the negro was 
that he belonged to the Republican party and was chief 
officer of the League at Graham. A half-witted colored 
man named Puryear professed to know the particulars of 
Outaw's murder. In a few days he was missed and after 
several weeks his body was found in a mill pond with a 
rock tied to the neck. 

Another outrage in Alamance was the whipping of Cor- 
liss, a school teacher. He seems to have belonged to that 
class of well-meaning Northern men who came South in the 
interests of the negro and humanity but lacked tact and 
common sense. For his associations with the negro he 
was severely scourged. Many other whippings occurred in 
Alamance county. 

In Caswell County, from April to the middle of May 1S70, 
twenty-one persons, white and colored, were whipped 
and scourged. Robin Jacobs, colored, was murdered in 



Historical Papers. 119 

May and in the same month John Walter Stevens, Repub- 
lican Senator from Caswell, was murdered in the Court- 
house at Yanceyville, while a Democratic speaking was 
held in the same building. Mr. Stevens was the leader of 
his party in the county, a man of integrity and excellent 
ability. No excuse could be given for his assassination 
except his political affiliations. For a long time the 
Democrats declared that he was murdered by order of 
Holden and his friends, w T ho were jealous of his influence 
among the negroes. Later investigations have proven, 
almost beyond a doubt, that the assassination was the work 
of the Ku Klux. 

These are only a few of the many instances of murder 
and active violations of law in the State. By June 1870, 
thirteen persons had been murdered, twenty-two whipped 
and one shot who recovered. In no case were the offenders 
brought to justice. Solicitors and judges testified to 
Governor Holden that it was impossible to convict men 
charged with these crimes. The grand juries could find 
no true bills. The reasons for this were that the members 
of the Klan were sworn to protoct each other and often 
members of the grand jury as well as the sheriffs were 
members of the society, and sentences passed by one local 
chapter or den were executed by another chapter. In this 
way a Klan in Alamance might order a negro to be whipped 
and the order would be executed by a Klan in some adjoin- 
ing county or distant township. 

About this time, Mr. John W. Norwood called on Gov- 
ernor Holden. In the conversation, Governor Holden 
intimated that if a number of prominent citizens in any 
county would recommend some one of influence to canvas 
the county in the interest of law and order and thereby 
persuade the Ku Klux to disband, he (the Governor) would 
appoint that one as a representative of the law and grant 
him a captain's commission. On March 5, 1870, J. W. 
Norwood, James Webb and Henry K. Nash and others 

120 William W. Holden. 

recommended Dr. Pride Jones, of Hillsboro, for this work 
in Orange. He was appointed and received the commission 
and pay of a captain in the United States Army. In Chat- 
ham, N. A. Ramsey received a similar commission. These 
gentlemen did great good in their counties. They assumed 
no military superiority, but went quietly through the 
counties examining the condition of the people, and 
succeeded in suppressing the Ku Klux outrages. That 
this policy worked so well in these counties may suggest 
the question, why a similar course was not pursued in 
Alamance and Caswell and other counties where disorder 
prevailed. The reason was that in Alamance and Caswell 
the Ku Klux were more numerous, many of the public 
officials were members of the Klan, and for one to know 
the agent of the Governor meant certain peril. At least no 
one was recommended or volunteered to do the work that 
Ramsey and Jones undertook in Chatham and Orange. 
No one, however much he may condemn Governor Holdems 
policy towards Alamance and Caswell, can fall to symathize 
with him. There was no precedent for him to follow, and 
no one advised him or came to his help as friend or coun- 
cillor except those of his own party. Tn 1876, he said : 

"In the earnest and long protracted efforts which I made to put down 
these disorders without resort to military force — efforts extending from the 
day of my inauguration to the first of July 1870, thus covering a space of tow 
years — I wrote to many sheriffs, to some judges, to many military officers, 
to mayors of towns, to many private citizens, to our Senators and Repre- 
sentatives in Congress, to President Grant, asking them for advice and 
help in the unwelcome work devolved upon me of protecting the defence- 
less and unoffending against outrage and murder, and in putting down an 
insurrection which threatened the stability of all government, and the 
peace, if not the very existence of society. . . . No ex-Governor of the 
State called upon me to aid me by suggestions or advica in the midst of 
troubles that shook the very State. No minister of the blessed Lord drop- 
ped into my office or my house to pray for me, to restrain me by advice, or 
to sustain me by words of cheer in the dark and difficult path I felt bound 
to tread." 

None of the proclamations of the Governor were of any 
influence in Alamance and Caswell. So on July 8, 1870, 

Historical Papers. 121 

in accordance with the provisions of the Shoffner Act, 
Governor Holden declared these counties to be in a state of 
insurrection. He then began the organization of the 
militia to invest the two counties. This was not done, as 
many have maintained, with any malice or ill-will. In 
fact Governor Holden's views were lenient when compared 
with those of some members of his party. Before the 
military organization was effected, Governor Holden held 
a conference with the leading men of the administration in 
his office. There were thirteen present, among them Rich- 
ard Badger, John Pool, J. H. Harris (col.) and General 
Wilie D. Jones. All agreed that the civil courts failed to 
suppress the Ku Klux and unless some action were taken 
at once, no Republican, white or black, could live in 
certain portions of the State. The military power was 
necessary. "Governor Holden," says Mr. Badger, "during 
most of the conference was a listener, and appeared to be 
anxious to hear suggestions. I sat near him during the 
entire conference and at every suggestion made by any 
person he appealed to me either by look, gesture or word, 
for my opinion in regard to it." Mr. Badger agreed that 
military occupation and arrests were necessary but main- 
tained that the trials of the arrested should be by a civil, 
not military court. Mr. Pool said this would not accom- 
plish the object and called attention to Governor Clayton, 
of Arkansas, who had occupied districts with militia, and 
tried and executed men and so had broken the Ku Klux in 
his State. Mr. Badger opposed this method and finally 
Mr. Pool agreed with him. Mr. Badger said that the writ 
of habeas corpus must not be disobeyed. Mr. Pool said 
that that was a bad policy, the habeas corpus should not be 
regarded, that if a person were cleared of one charge, he 
should immediately be arrested on another. Mr. Pool 
also suggested that D. McD Lindsay be made military 
commander, that he had been a pirate during the war, 
and told stories of his daring and cruelty. This was over- 

122 William W. Holden. 

ruled by the other members. Many other similar prop- 
ositions were introduced in the discussions. "AH of these 
suggestions with regard to using such violent means 
were objected to by Governor Holden," says Mr. Badger. 

It was decided to organize two regiments of volunteers. 
Colonel Wm. J. Clark was given command of the First 
Regiment, with headquarters in Raleigh. The command 
of the Second Regiment was offered to Major W. W. Rol 
lins, of Asheville. He declined, but suggested Colonel 
George W. Kirk. Colonel Kirk was then appointed, and 
at Kirk's request, one Bergen was made Lieutenant Col- 
onel. Bergen and Kirk had fought with the Union Army 
during the last years of the war, and had won the usual 
reputation, merited or unmerited, of all Southern men who 
joined the Union cause. It is here impossible to go into 
details of the campaign that followed the famous Kirk- 
Holden war. ~No battles were fought, no blood was shed. 
It has been claimed that the Governor instituted the 
military organization in July in order that he might con- 
trol the coming elections in August. Colonel James Boyd 
and Mr. W. R. Albright testified in the Impeachment that 
Governor Holden told them that in the military organiza- 
tion he cared not how the election went. His desire was 
to suppress the Ku Klux by any means, and any effort he 
might make would more than repay the labor required if 
thereby one more crime might be averted. In his memoirs 
Governor Holden says that he desired to commence mili- 
tary operations two months earlier, but that there were no 
funds in the treasury that could be used for that purpose, 
and as soon as D. A. Jenkins, the treasurer, notified him 
that there were sufficient funds at hand, he commenced 
the organization of the militia. 

Kirk and Bergen raised about six hundred men. The 
militia law of the State was not strictly obeyed in the 
mustering, as the law required that negroes and white men 
be mustered in different regiments, and Kirk allowed 


Historical Papers. 123 

whites and negroes to serve in the same regiment. Many 
citizens were arrested, mostly at Graham and Company 
Shops. These were marched to Yanceyville and impris- 
oned. A. G. Moore and others appealed to Chief Justice 
Pearson for a writ of habeas corpus. This was granted by 
Pearson, but Kirk refused to obey, saying that the judi- 
ciary had "played out," and he held the prisoners under 
orders of the Governor. Pearson then wrote his opinion 
of the case, sent it to Governor Holden, saying that if the 
Executive chose to obey the writ, well; if not, nothing 
could be done — the power of the judiciary was exhausted 
and all responsibility for the prisoners rested with the 
Governor. He said he was following the example of Chief 
Justice Taney in Merriman's case in 18(31. In that case 
General George Cadwalader, commander of Fort McHenry, 
refused to obey the habeas corpus writ. Chief Justice 
Taney ruled that Congress alone had the power to put 
aside the habeas corpus, but also said that he could do 
nothing with Cadwalader, as Cadwalader's power was too 
strong for him. The point in ISTorth Carolina was this, 
according to Pearson. The Legislature had given the 
Governor authority to declare counties in insurrection. 
The military was then more powerful than the civil offi- 
cials. The military might obey the writ, but was not 
required so to do. The writ was, therefore, virtually sus- 

The prisoner then appealed to the United States District 
Judge, George W. Brooks. The Governor then asked 
President Grant to sustain his position. But the Federal 
authorities decided that Brooks could not refuse to issue 
the writ, and advised "that the State authorities yield to 
the United States judiciary." This subordinated the mili- 
tary to the civil power and virtually ended the campaign. 
The regiments were disbanded. But the serious state of 
affairs awakened the Ku Klux to their senses. The organ- 
ization speedily disbanded. 

124 William W. IIolden. 

In the meantime the elections had been held. Troops 
were sent to some counties to preserve order. The returns 
gave the Democrats a majority. In the winter of 1871 
they met and decided to impeach the Governor for his 
conduct. The following charges were preferred : 

Art. I. That the Governor, "unmindful of the high 
duties of his office'' and "intending to stir up civil war, 
and subvert personal and public liberty/' did, "of his own 
false, corrupt and wicked mind and purpose/' declare the 
county of Alamance in insurrection, and by armed force 
made arrests. (The names of those arrested in Alamance 
are here given.) 

Art. II. Same as above, in regard to Caswell. 

Art. III. Arrest of Josiah Turner, of Orange, without 
any cause. 

Art. IV. The arrest of certain citizens of Caswell by 
Kirk and Bergen, by orders of Governor. 

Art. V. The arrest of A. G. Moore and refusal to obey 
writ of habeas corpus in his case. 

Art. VI. Arrest of others and refusal to obey writ of 
habeas corpus. 

Art. VII. Use of State funds to support the unlawful 
military organizations. 

Art. VIII. The refusal to obey the writ of injunction 
issued at the instance of Richard M. Allison protesting 
against the use of the State's taxes in the military cam- 

A ninth article, charging the Governor with complicity 
in the Reconstruction frauds, was about to be intro- 
duced, but George W. Swepson telegraphed the mem- 
bers who had the drafting of the charges, that Governor 
Holden was innocent, and if they insisted on introducing 
the charge, he (Swepson) would come down from Xew York 
and testify in the Governor's favor. The charge was then 

These articles were introduced in the Senate from the 


Historical Papers. 125 

House. The Seriate organized as a high court, and the 
House took in hand the prosecution. The managers for the 
prosecution were Thomas Sparrow, chairman, James G. 
Scott, Wm. G. Worth, T. I). Johnson, G. H. Gregory, 
Jno. W. Dunham, and C. XV. Broadfoot. These gentle- 
men employed as prosecutors for the House, ex-Governors 
W. A. Graham and Thomas Bragg and A. S. Merriman, 
late Chief Justice. ~No appropriation was allowed Gover- 
nor Holden to secure counsel. He was compelelled to pay 
his own lawyers and in some instances to pay the expenses 
of his own witnesses. This was not only partisan but 
unjust. He secured the services of W. N. H. Smith, later 
Chief Justice, Nathaniel Boyden, J. M. McCorkle, 
Edward Conigland and Richard Badger. Mr. Badger 
refused any remuneration for his services. The trial really 
began on January 30, 1871. The articles were introduced 
in December of the previous year but time had to be 
allowed for the collection of evidence. The burden of the 
prosecution was the habeas corpus. Was it suspended by 
military action? This and other questions involved held 
the attention of the court, presided over by Chief Justice 
Pearson, for forty-four days. The result was that Gover- 
nor Holden was found guilty of all except the first two 
charges, and the Senate adjudged that "the said W. W. 
Holden, Governor, be deposad from office and found dis- 
qualified from holding any office of proh't or trust in the 

It is not my purpose to enter into any detailed account 
of the Impeachment and the legal question involved, and 
the argument of the prosecution and counsel. That would 
require a knowledge of legal history that few of our best 
jurists have. But this fact must be felt by every one who 
reads the proceedings in an unbiased spirit — that whether 
the Governor was guilty or not guilty, the trial was con- 
ducted in the most partisan spirit. The defendant's 
chances for acquittal were limited by a decision excluding 

126 William W. Holder. 

all testimony regarding the Ku Klux except that relating 
to Alamance and Caswell. Also whenever there was 
an uncertain issue, nine times out of ten the Senate would 
overrule the decision of Chief Justice Pearson and decide 
in favor of the prosecution. In this. Senator Edwards was 
prominent, for he always made the motion appealing from 
the Chief Justice to the Senate. Also the evidence for the 
prosecution was often doubtful, for example — Josiah Tur- 
ner was arrested without the order of Governor Holden. 
No order could be shown for his arrest. Yet the Governor 
was convicted of this charge. And Mr. Turner when 
examined made the following statements : 

Q. What are your personal feelings toward the accused ? A. I suppose 
as good as they ever were. 

Q. That is not exactly answering my question — what are they now? A. 
They are just as good as they ought to be between a good and a bad man. 

Chief Justice. Are you on good or bad terms with him? A. There are no 
terms between us. I have never passed a dozen words with him in my life. 
I never had any social relations with him. I never passed a dozen words 
with him in my life — hardly a good morning." 

In his memoirs Governor Holden states that he supported 
Mr. Turner when candidate for the Confederate Congress, 
that Mr. Turner visited him in Raleigh, where they planned 
the campaign and separaced the best of friends. 

Also two Republican Senators were expelled and Demo- 
ocrats elected to till their vacancies. One of these was 
Edwards, above referred to, one of the chief tools of the 
prosecution. On the day the final vote was taken, says 
ex-Governor Brogdon, two Democratic Senators were so 
drunk that they had to be led into the Senate chamber and 
supported by marshalls until their votes, which were nec- 
essary for conviction, were taken. 

Through all the proceedings, Governor Holden conducted 
himself with dignity and and honor. He refused to be a 
party to any method of self-preservation, save the small 
chance given by the prosecution. In his manuscript I find 
the following statements : 


Historical Papers. 127 

"One morning, in the Spring of 1870, Chief Justice Pear- 
son called to see me at my house. We conversed a good 
while. Among other things he said that the Senate of this 
State has been chosen for four years and he could prove it 
beyond question. He said he hoped I would concur with 
and would aid him in a case to be made up by the Supreme 
Court. I was surprised at the suggestions. The proposition 
was to me a new one. I had not thought of it but I said 
to him, 'Judge, the people in voting for the Constitution, 
no doubt believed that they were voting two years for the 
Senate and not for four — and besides it is written the dif- 
ferent departments of the government should be kept always 
separate and distinct, and according to their rule I could 
not concur with the court, ' He seemed to be, as he no doubt 
was, profoundly in earnest. The Senate was at that time 
two-thirds Republican. It was the first Senate under the 
Constitution. I did not think of the matter any more 
until I was impeached. 

"Mr. Brogden said to me one day, "Governor, I am 
advised to say, that if you would use your inliuence with 
the Legislature to call a Convention the Impeachment pro- 
ceedings will be stopped. I told Mr. Brogden, 'I am 
the first Governor under the new Constitution and can 
not support a Convention to amend the Constitution at 
this time. The Constitution has not yet been tried. T 
could not do evil that good might come.' He seemed 
preplexed and troubled and said, 'I am disposed to think 
well of the Constitution generally, but it ought to be 
amended, but you are too careful and squeamish for your 
own good. ■ I went that day over to the lobby of the 
House of Representatives, and met Dr. Thomas W. Young, 
my brother-in-law and a member of the House who said, 
'Governor, we want to call a Convention and lack but 
eight or ten votes of doing so. What will you say?' I 
answered, 'Doctor, I can't agree to the arrangement to call 
a Convention on my account.' He said, ! We can doit 

128 William W. Holden. 

in both Houses if you will agree to it.' I said, 'No, I 
can't do it' " 

After his Impeachment, Governor Holden removed to 
Washington, and was connected with the National Chron- 
icle. He finally returned to Raleigh where he was Post- 
master for a number of years. 

So ends the public life of W. W. Holden. In many 
respects he is the most unique man in North Carolina history. 
He is the only Governor in the United States that was ever 
deposed from office. His trial is a slur on the history of the 
party that conducted it — still greater is the shame that 
his disabilities were never removed. Much has been said 
of Reconstruction and negro rule. But Air. Holden never 
recognized the negro as an equal of the white, though he 
was compelled to protect him. He left the Republican 
party in 1880 when the negro question was becoming 
dominant, and his party seemed to be identified with the 

The final verdict in regard to his political life remains to 
be made in the future. But this must forever remain to 
his credit. He was one of the leaders in the Revolution of 
1848 and 1850 that placed all citizens on an equal suffrage 
basis and so struck the final blow to the only aristocracy. 

Whatever may be our judgment of him politically, as a 
journalist he is the peer of any North Carolina has ever 
produced. When we consider his literary ability we 
cannot but lament the fact that one who possessed such 
brilliant possibilities was compelled to spend his life at the 
case and press and make his livelihood as a politician. As 
testimony to his literary tastes I give this extract from 
Mr. J. H. Bonner to T. H. Hill : 

"I remember one stormy autumn night — I think it was in i860 — he and I 
sat alone by a smouldering log fire in the rear room of the old Standard 
office. We fell to talking about poetry, as was generally the case when we 
were alone, and I chanced to have in rny pocket a copy of your first book. 
I read to him your "Fireside Fancies." This drew him out, and in return 
he recited for me several of his own pieces which, so far as I know, have 


Historical Papers. 129 

/ never appeared in print. I can only recall now a portion of the refrain of 

one of them. It was this: 

"who can tell 

Where the lone spirit went when 
the frail body fell !" 

Gov. Holden had fine poetic taste; he was a good critic, though inclined 
to favor religious verse. Milton was his poet. He was familiar with the 
English Classics. 

"How old am I growing ! More than thirty years have passed since I first 
became acquainted with Governor Holden. I was then in my sixteenth 
year, and I gratefully remember tlie kind and gracious manner and tone 
with which he greeted me. From that day to the end of his life we were 
warm friends. We exchanged letters quite frequently up to the time of 
his paralytic disablement. In '83, when my book of poems was published 
he managed to write a few tremulous lines expressive of his loyalty of 
friendship — only ten lines, in which he said; 'If I had the physical strength, 
John, it would give me peculiar pleasure to review your poems in some 
North Carolina paper.' " 

During the stormy days of "reconstruction," when I held a State office 
which necessitated frequent business interviews with him, I have «een him 
calmly endure enough mental and nervous strain to wreck a man of steel- 
As Jo. and I had come to be chums, the Governor regarded me with real 
fatherly affection. Often when I was about to retire from the Executive 
chamber because of the presence of important personages with secret 
affairs, he would bid me remain. I know much of his unpublished history, 
and I make bold to say that I believe he always intended to do right. After 
many a critical scene, when the last visitor had withdrawn, and the door 
had been locked for the day, he has unbosomed himself to me and avowed his 
purpose to do right. And he at least had the courage of his convictions. 
He was a brave man. First of all, he was a gentleman. Personal assaults 
upon him were not infrequent, but he was never harmed. He never carried 
a weapon. I was once near him, on Fayetteville street, when a malignant 
man leveled a pistol at his breast. The Governor was always alert. Quick 
as a flash, he struck the pistol from the assailant's hand with his cane. 
Instead of following up his advantage with a blow, the Governor, appar- 
ently without loss of temper or composure, said to him: "Shame on you, 
sir!'' There was no further trouble. 

Though his life was stormy, his enemies always malig- 
nant, he showed the greatest charity. He aided in having 
amnesty to the Ku Klux proclaimed two or three years 
after his impeachment. His last years were rilled with 
charitable work in Raleigh. He was the friend of the poor 
of the city, visited them and aided them in their troubles. 
He, on every available occasion, said he cherished no spirit 


^ r 

130 William W. Holder. 

of resentment against those who had opposed him. He 
died in March, 1892. During the last months of his life 
he dictated his memoirs, written by his daughter. This 
manuscript is remarkable for the clearness with which 
everything is stated, though he was then paralyzed and 
feeble. In conclusion I quote the last section of his "last 
letter to the public:'' 

4 'We live in altered, in new times. The events of the past and the condi- 
tion of things in the present, warn us of the paramount importance of law 
and order. There is no safety to society save the reign of law. I have 
always held that as a citizen and as an officer. I hold it still, with added 
tenacity, if possible. The paramount thought with all public officers should 
be, what is my duty, not what the crowd or the mobs, or bodies of friends 
desire or advise, but what is right now, without regard to party. George 
Washington himself warns us against the fatal danger of party spirit. 
General Andrew Jackson does the same. Their farewell addresses are 
invaluable. General Jackson once said to Colonel Bedford Brown : 'Colo- 
nel Brown, you will live to see a great civil war in this country about 
slavery. I will not live to see it, but I put you on your guard. The tariff 
has been proclaimed by DuS Green too weak to divide the Union, but he 
says slavery is strong enough to do it. Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Preston make 
speeches for the South and against the North, and the North in turn assails 
the South. One side cuts the wood and lays it down, and the other side 
sets fire to it. If this sectional feeling is continued I fear the worst.' Jack- 
son and Washington were wise and forecasting. We now have a restored 
Union. It is the strongest government on the face of the earth . . . The 
States are not only powerful and never will be. The rights of the States 
are dead. I simply state facts. I do not say who did this thing or that 
thing. I speak only of results. 

"Mr. Webster said in one of his great speeches in the Senate, that if the 
pillars of the Union should fail, 'they would be raised not again.' It is not 
the same Union and it never will be. 

"Pass on, relentless world, I grieve 

No more at all that thou hast riven — 
Pass on, in God's name only leave 

The things .thou never yet hast given; 
A heart at ease, a mind at home. 

Affections Sxed above thy sway, 
Faith, set upon a world to come. 

And patience thro' life's little day. 

"The public's most obedient servant, 

"W. W. Hold en." 

( MWM in ■ — ▼»*" 


Annual P ligation 


is -Parsers 

J • • r 

Published by the His Trinity College. 

DUR ' : : . c. 


Undek fhe Supervision of the I. ;nt of Hi< 






Annual Publication 


historical Papers 

Published by the Historical Society of Trinity College, 



Under the Supervision of the Department of History 





i. North Carolina Methodism and Slavery . i 

J. S. Bassett 

2. Court System of North Carolina Before the Revolution ... 12 

S. A. Stewart. 

3. William H. Branson 21 

Jno. C. Kilgo. 

4. A Saner Citizenship 31 

Judge Henry G. Connor. 

5. The Congressional Career of Thos. L. Clingman 48 

John S. Bassett. 

6. De Graffenreid and the Swiss and Palatine Settlement of 

New Berne, N. C 64 

7. Nathaniel Macon in National Legislation 72 

8. Book Notices 89 


/ ,. 

Distorical papers. 




A leading Baptist minister, now quite old, said to me 
recently: "About all the religion the negroes as a class 
got befare the war, they got from the Methodist and Bap- 
tist churches." This remark, so far as it applies to the 
number who joined these churches, is entirely true. These 
two churches have been the churches for the people in 
North Carolina. In their doctrines and their methods they 
appealed to the popular mind. They have preached to the 
heart. They early appealed to the enslaved people around 
them. Other churches, undoubtedly, had negro members. 
All of them had a few ; but no other churches had them in 
large numbers. In the other churches, as the Presbyterian 
and the Episcopal, the negroes in the church were mostly 
slaves or followers of families who had their membership 
there. In all denominations the negroes had equal rights 
so far as instruction and communion went ; but not equal 
privileges in the government. They were cared for faith- 
fully by the whites and through patient teaching, many of 
them came to understand and to practice the fundamental 
principles of Christian living — a process which undoubt- 
edly helped the slave to bear his servitude and operated 
to render slavery as a state perpetual. When there were 
only a few negro members they attended services with the 
whites, and a certain portion of the church was assigned to 
them. Where there was a large congregation of negroes 

2 North Carolina Methodism and Slavery. 

they were given a separate sermon, usually after the whites 
had dispersed. In earlier days there were a few negro 
preachers but even then the greater part of the preaching 
for the negroes was done by white preachers. The influ- 
ence of the preacher over his iiock was something that the 
whites very properly would not have relinquished to the 
negro preachers, had there been ever so many of the latter. 
In 1831 slaves and free-negroes were forbidden by the leg- 
islature to preach, exhort or hold prayer meetings. This 
was a harsh law, and in some cases it was not strictly 
enforced. In others it was enforced and bore hardly on 
at least one prominent negro preacher, viz : Rev John 
Chavis, of Granville. The white preachers preached such 
sermons as they thought the negro needed and could 
comprehend. Naturally, this led them to emphasize the 
duties of servants to their masters, that is to say, they 
continually preached from the text: "Servants obey your 
masters. ' ' The most independent spirits rejected this kind 
of preaching. To them it seemed that the white man's 
religion was but another means of riveting the chains of 

No other leading church in the South, except the 
Quakers had a better record as to the practice of slavery 
than the Methodist church. John Wesley pronounced 
the slave trade "the execrable sum of all villanies. " 
(Luke Tyerman, iii-114.) The last letter he wrote, six 
days before death, was to Wilberforce, and in it he 
called our slavery "the vilest that ever saw the sun." 
(lb. iii, 650.) Whitfield, however, believed that slavery 
might be made a means of converting the Africans. He 
did not think slavery wrong and he bought and worked 
slaves on his plantation in Georgia. In America many 
Methodists held Mr. Wesley's view. In the North espe- 
cially was this true. The Conference in Baltimore, in 1780, 
declared that slavery "is contrarary to the laws of God, 
man, and nature, and hurtful to society, contrary to the 


Historical Papers. 3 

to the dictatates of conscience and and pure religion and 
doing that which we would not that others should do to 
us or ours. " It further declared its "disapprobation on 
all our friends who keep slaves." (Minutes, pp. 25-6.) 
This resolution was probably offered by some of the mem- 
bers of the Conference, although there is nothing in the 
records to show it. It was decided in 1784 that Methodists 
who bought and sold slaves ought to be turned out of 
church. Public opinion was found to be against this 
regulation for a year later it was suspended till a later 
meeting of Conference. The Conference, however, was 
particular to add : ' k N. B. We do hold in the deepest 
abhorrence the practice of slavery, and shall not cease 
to seek its destruction by all wise and prudent means. " 
(Mins. p. 55). This change of sentiment was caused by the 
preaching of Bishop Coke who had just arrived in the coun- 
try and had begun to preach with vigor against slavery. 
Southern slave-holders were enraged and in South Carolina 
he narrowly escaped bodily violence. As a result Metho- 
dists were refused access to the slaves and it took years to 
overcome the opposition. If the matter was taken up in the 
near future no mention of it was made in the published min- 
utes. In 1795, the church proclaimed a fast, and one of the 
purpurposes was {i to call on the Lord that the Africans 
and Indians may help to fill the pure church of God." 

An important question from the first was the holding of 
slaves by ministers. The spirit of the church was undoubt- 
edly against it, Whitfield's example to the contrary, 
notwithstanding. The matter was before the Conference 
for some time, and it occasioned many disputes — just as 
later it was to be the cause of the division of the church. 
At length the two sides came to a compromise. In 1816, 
it was agreed and enacted that henceforth no Methodist 
preacher should hold slaves in the States in which the laws 
would allow them to be emancipated and to live there as 
freemen. As all of the Southern States required slaves 

4 North Carolina Methodism and Slavery. 

that were set free to leave those States in a short time on 
pain of being re-sold into slavery, this did not operate 
harshly on such preachers in the South as had slaves. Such 
preachers were, it is fair to say, as a class against Slavery 
in the abstract, but they were often so placed that to own 
a slave seemed to them the most humane thing under the 
circumstances. Thus a preacher might marry a woman 
who owned slaves. These slaves might not desire to leave 
their old homes for the colder climates of the free States, 
and they might have to leave relatives to whom they were 
deeply attached in order to do so. In such a case a benev- 
olent and intelligent master would most likely consider 
that the best interest of the slave demanded that he should 
be still a slave. 

As the North became more and more aroused on the 
question of slavery the Northern preachers became more 
and more pronounced in their views against it. The com- 
promise of 1816, like the Missouri Compromise four years 
later, tendered to restrict slavery to the South. By 1844, the 
Northern section of the country had developed far enough to 
have the most pronounced views. The matter was opened 
in the General Conference of that year in regard to a case 
from Maryland in which a preacher had married a 
woman who owned slaves, thus becoming a slave-owner. 
Maryland forbade liberated slaves, to stay in its bounds. 
The Maryland Conference failed to pass the character of 
the slave-owning bridegroom, who, it was said, had rlown 
in the face of well known public opinion in his church in 
coming into his new relation. The case was apj>ealed to the 
General Conference and the judgment of the lower Confer- 
ence was confirmed. This gave the anti-slavery movement 
courage and they at once brought in a resolution of censure 
against Bishop Andrew, whose episcopal heart had been 
caught in the meshes by a fair slave-holding widow in 
Augusta, Ga. The North claimed that the bishop by his 
marriage had made himself unacceptable to the North — 


Historical Papers. 5 

where the people would not have a slave-holding bishop to 
hold the Conferences. The majority of the delegates from 
the free States vvere men of a new time — reared in the 
midst of the strenuous controversy over slavery. With them 
the spirit of the compromise of 1810 went for but little. 
They were immovable. The resolution against Bishop 
Andrew was carried by a vote almost strictly sectional. 

The result, as is well known, led to the secession of the 
Southern delegates and the establishment of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South. But the Southern church did not 
change its profession in regard to slavery. It had contended 
for the compromise of 1816, and in its own Discipline, first 
published in 1846. it repeated in the exact words of the 
old Discipline: ;> We declare that w r e are as much as ever 
convinced of the great evil of slavery ; therefore, no slave 
holder shall be eligible to any official station in our church 
hereafter where the laws of the State in which he lives will 
admit of emancipation, and permit the liberated slave to 
enjoy freedom. 2. When any traveling preacher becomes 
an owner of a slave or slaves, by any means, he shall for- 
feit his ministerial character in our church, unless he 
execute, if it be practicable, a legal emancipation of such 
slaves, conformable to the laws of the State in which he 

As to the care of the Methodists for negroes the record is 
clear. From the earliest time the Methodists turned their 
attention to the conversion of the slaves. In many com- 
munities in the South, the church began its work as a 
negro church. It may be said that it was the first consid- 
erable body to make the conversion of the slaves a chief 
object. It had success from the first. In 1795 the Confer- 
ence rejoiced that many thousands of these poor people 
[the Africans] are free and pious." (Mins. p. 163-4). 
When the division between the North and the South came, 
the latter branch instructed its preachers to enjoin on their 
congregations the duty of Christians to teach the slave to 


6 North Carolina Methodism and Slavery. 

read the Bible and the duty of the slave to attend church 
services. It also guaranteed to colored ministers the priv- 
ileges usually granted to other like members, "when the 
usages of the country do not forbid it." The presiding 
elder was authorized to hold a separate District Conference 
for colored preachers when there were enough to justify 
it. Moreover, the the Annal Conferences were given the 
authority to employ colored preachers to travel and preach 
— provided that such preachers should have been recom- 
mended according to the Discipline. Thus it will be seen 
that the Southern Methodist church began its life in no 
spirit of hostility to the negro. This body repudiated 
the anti-slavery sentiment of the North but it still pro- 
fessed an oppositon to slavery in the abstract and earnestly 
desired the best Christian development of the slaves. 

In North Carolina the progress of Methodism among the 
slaves was rapid. In 1787. when we have our first statis- 
tics, there were within the State, 5,017 white and 492 
colored members. In 1790, three years later, there were 
7,518 whites and 1,749 blacks. The census etimated at five- 
year periods after this runs : 

Year. Whites. Blacks. 

1795 8,414 1,719 

1800 6,363 2,108 

1805 9,385 2,394 

1810 13,535 4,724 

1815 14,283 5,165 

1820 13,179 5,933 

1825 15,421 7,292 

1830 19,228 10,182 

1835 27,539 8,766 

1839 26,405 9,302* 

This shows a rapid gain of the blacks as compared with 

♦Foot Note. —This is the last year for which I have been able to get the 


Historical Papers. 7 

the whites. A notable feature here is a tendency — not 
entirely absent from the white column also— for the negro 
membership to vary sharply, sometimes rising suddenly 
and then again falling as suddenly. This variation is 
not unnatural. It corresponds with the emotional nature 
of the negro. In the eastern part of the State the propor- 
tion of negro members was large. This was of course due 
to the fact that in this section there were vastly more 
slaves than in the East. An illustration of this is found 
in Wilmington. Methodism was planted here about the 
close of the eighteenth bentury. William Meredith a wan- 
dering Methodist preacher came to W T ilmington at that time. 
He was struck with the possibility of doing good in 
the place. In the suburbs among the negro cabins 
he bought a lot. He preached faithfully to both black 
and white in any place he could get. At length he had 
raised a sum of money, mostly from the penny collec- 
tion of the negroes, and he built a church building of his 
his own. His venture was independent of the regular 
connection, but he held the friendliest relation with the 
regular preachers as they came through Wilmington, and 
when he died he left his church and other property to the 
Methodist organization. Hither came Bishop Asbury in 
in 1807. He preached two sermons on Sunday. At sun- 
rise of the same day John Charles, a colored preacher, 
preached from the text: "Now no more Condem- 
nation." The bishop speaks of it as a '-high day on 
Mt. Zion. " The majority of the flock were negroes. 
By the wealthy people the church was looked down upon 
. as the "negro church." The only other church in the 
place at that time was an Episcopal church. Most of the 
aristocratic ladies attended this church but a majority of the 
men were freethinkers after the French fashion. The 
Methodist doctrines were considered all right for the igno- 
rant — whose conduct was thought to be improved by a 
taste of hell-fire. The congregation were not however. 

8 North Carolina Methodism and Slavery. 

always left at peace. The records show that on certain 
occasions the building was wrecked by the popular ven- 

More striking is the story of the planting of Fayetteville 
Methodism. Late in the eighteenth century Fayetteville 
had but one church organisation and that was Presbyterian. 
The body, however, had no building of its own. One day there 
came to the place, Henry Evans, a full-blooded negro shoe- 
maker who was going from Stokes county, N. C. to Charles- 
ton, S. C. where he proposed to locate. He is thought to have 
been born free and it is known that he was converted at 
an early age. He removed first from Virginia to the neigh- 
borhood of Doub's Chapel, in what was then Stokes, but 
is nowForsythe, county. Here he staid one year and was 
licensed to preach by the Methodists In Fayetteville he 
was impressed by finding that the coloree people were 
"wholly given to profanity and lewdness, never hearing 
preaching of any denomination. " He decided to settle 
here and to try to build up the negroes. He had not 
preached long when he found himself the object of the 
severity of the law. The whites, ever on the alert to detect 
some early sign of a slave conspiracy, passed a law forbid- 
ding him to preach within the town limits. He then met 
his Hock in the "Sandhills," which were desolate places 
outside of the corporate limits. He thought he had cause to 
fear mob-violence and he changed the place of meeting 
from time to time and often his tormenters would go to 
break up his meeting only to find that he had moved it to 
some other place. No law was violated. His persecution 
he bore meekly, and those who spoke to him about the 
matter got such respectful answers that public opinion at 
length changed. Many of the negroes were reached, and it 
was soon noticed that such as had come under his influence 
were the more docile for it. A number of prominent 
whites, mostly women, became interested, and began to go 
to the meetings. His friends increased fast and he was at 



Historical Papebs. 9 

length invited to hold his services in town again. More 
than this, a rude wooden church was constructed and seats 
in it were reserved for the whites, some of whome became 
regular attendants on the services. The reputation of the 
preacher grew rapidly and the white attendants increased 
in number. At length they filled the entire body of the 
church and the boards on the side were knocked off so as 
to allow shed-like additions to be built for the colored 
attendants. At first the organization was an index>endent 
one. But in time it was taken into regular connec- 
tion and Fayetteville became an appointment on an 
established circuit. A white preacher accordingly had the 
work in hand; but the heroic founder was not displaced. 
A room was built in the rear of the pulpit and here he lived 
the rest of his life. He died in 1810. 

Of Henry, Evans, Bishop, Capers said: "I have known 
not many preachers who appeared more conversant with 
the scriptures than Evans, or whose conversation was more 
instructive as to the things of God. He seemed always 
deeply impressed with the responsibility of his position. 
. . . Nor would he allow any partiality to induce him to 
vary in the least degree the lines of conduct or the bearing 
which he had prescribed to himself in this respect ; never 
speaking to a white man but with his hat under his arm ; 
never allowing himself to be seated in their houses ; and 
ever confining himself to the kind and manner of dress 
proper for negroes in general — except his plain black coat 
in the pulpit, 'The whites are kind to come and hear 
me preach,' he would say, 'but I belong to my own sort 
and must not spoil them.'" The humility of the man, 
we must think, was praise-worthy. It was necessary under 
the circus tances. But what shall we say of the system that 
demanded such a prostration of self-respect from a man of 
the christly courage of Henry Evans ! He did a great work, 
but might it not have been greater had he been untram- 
meled by the sense of his subordination. 

10 North Carolina Methodism and Slavery. 

His last speech to his people is noteworthy. Directly 
after the morning service it was the custom of the white 
preacher to preach to the blacks. On the Sunday before 
Evans died, as this meeting was being held, the door of 
the little rear room opened and the old man tottered in. 
Leaning on the altar-rail he said very simply: "I have 
come to say my last word to you. It is this : None but 
Christ. Three times I have had my life in jeopardy for 
preaching the gospel to you. Three times I have broken 
the ice on the edge of the water and swam across the Cape 
Fear to preach the gospel to you, and if in my last hour I 
could trust to that, or to anything else but Christ crucified, 
for my salvation, all should be lost and my soul perish 
forever." Of these words Bishop Capers said simply and 
justly that they were worthy of St. Paul. 

The early experience of the Methodists in Raleigh is also 
interesting. Here the negroes constituted a large part of 
the congregation. When the church was built they con- 
tributed their part and they were assigned seats in the 
gallery. Later an opportunity was given for them to buy 
a church of their own. Both blacks and whites worked to 
get money together until the scheme was consummated. 
When the slaves moved into their own building there was 
a two-fold rejoicing; by the blacks because they had a 
building of their own, by the whites because the negroes 
were out of the building of the whites. The negro church 
now became a negro mission, and was served by a white 
preacher assigned by the North Carolina Conference. It 
was the custom to send some old preacher of great kind- 
ness and usually of very good ability to the work. The 
negroes were very devoted to their preacher, and I have 
been told showed their appreciation by frequent presents 
of such articles as pies, cakes and socks. The white mem- 
bers of the churches were still interested in the negroes and 
exercised a kind of oversight over them, attending their 
meetings and teaching in their Sunday schools. 


Historical Papers. 11 

On the plantations negroes usually joined the neighboring 
churches. Owners of some of the large plantations in the 
East used to unite and pay the salary of some preacher 
whom the Conference would send them. In such a case 
the negro church would be made an appointment on a 
circuit and would have preaching once a month as other 
places. In the Cape Fear region early in the century I 
find that one or more missions to the slaves appear on the 
list of assignments. This means probably that a preacher 
had several charges composed of negroes and covering a 
large area. Such a plan was feasible only in the East 
where slaves were more numerous. 

I cannot close without saying just one word that a study 
of this part of our Methodist history brings to my mind. 
If we found it wise in the days of slavery actively to 
superintend the religious instruction of the negroes, would 
it not be wise now for us, as a church, to give some careful 
oversight and aid to him? Perhaps our entire separation 
from him may have been justified in the days of reconstruc- 
tion, when there was much mutual distrust between the 
races ; but no such a justification seems now to exist. 
This is not the place or time to make an argument on this 
point; but I trust that you may feel enough interest in it 
to endeavor to determine for yourselves. We are our 
brother's keepers. The black man is our brother and will 
remain so. To him our church has a duty. Does it per- 
form it by letting him alone? 

12 Court System Before the Revolution. 




In studying the development of a people nothing is more 
helpful than a correct understanding of their system of 
judicature, for here we not only learn their methods of 
administering justice, but, at the same time, we get an 
insight into their conception of justice itself. There is no 
question of government more vital to the individual than 
the mode in which the authority of that government is 
to be administered. There is hardly another function of 
government that touches the citizen at a point quite so 
delicate as the institution which passes judgment upon 
his deeds and intentions. Hence we find that all peoples 
at all times have demanded a satisfactory and. to their 
minds, a fair system of meting out justice to both 
offender and offended. "Equality before the law" is not 
alone a plea for an equal voice in selecting the rulers and 
legislators who are to make the laws, but it is also a plea 
for an indiscriminating law, applying indiscriminately to 
rich and poor, bond and free, to be administered by an 
impartial hand, not without a certain "fear and trembling, " 
yet with a boldness and fidelity becoming a man robed 
with authority. I say the people not only demand that 
the laws be impartial, but that the courts in which those 
laws are to be interpreted and applied be such as will 
insure fair play to all those bringing suits therein. Thus 
it is that a knowledge of the court system of a people 
comes to have such wide significance and suggestiveness. 
. To treat adequately and explicitly a subject like the one 
in hand is quite a difficult task on account of general con- 
fusion, and in some cases actual lack of certain important 
records, and on account, also, of a direful want of co-ordi- 
nation in the system. Different things were tried at 
different places and times as the exigencies of the case 

Historical Papers. 13 

might demand. The reader should also bear in mind two 
other points: first, that the amount of territory occupied 
in early colonial days was very small, and a system of 
judicature adapted to the narrow limits of a small province 
would, of necessity, have to be remodeled and enlarged to 
meet the demands of an expanding settlement; and 
secondly, that all our institutions were merely attempted 
adaptations of English institutions to our conditions, con- 
sequently many were superfluous and many were unstated 
and unsuitable to a widely dispersed population occupying 
an undeveloped country. 

With these introductory remarks I am prepared to enter 
upon my task which is, not to trace all the changes, giving 
the minute details and dates, but rather, to give a sum- 
mary, of the Court Systems of North Carolina prior to the 
Revolutionary war. And it will greatly aid the mind in 
getting hold of the facts if we divide it into two periods, 
the first extending up to the close of the proprietary 
regime in 1729, and the other continuing it to the breaking 
out of the war. 


For more than a quarter of a century, embracing the 
early history of North Carolina, the judicial functions of 
government, as well as the legislative and executive, were 
exercised by the Governor and his Council. This we know 
from the fact that to the "Governor and Council in time of 
court" were granted thirty pounds of tobacco in each 
action. It seems that they combined the powers of both law 
and chancery courts of England. In 1665 authority was 
granted the Governor and Council to establish what courts 
might be found necessary. About the same time the 
province was divided into precincts for the purpose of 
electing representatives to the Assembly. The same pro- 
cess made the precinct the territorial basis of a new court 
— the precinct court. Certain functions were taken from 

14 Court System Before the Revolution. 

the one previous tribunal and given to the precinct courts. 
The older tribunal became an appellate court, known as 
the General Court. It was the forerunner of our present 
Supreme Court. The Governor and Council continued to 
hold this court till near the close of the century, when 
they appointed Justices for the purpose. Just when the 
change took effect is hard to say, but we know that in the 
year 1695 Samuel Swann, William Glover, and John Haw- 
kins held the General Court. Another step was taken in 
1713, when Christopher GJale received a commission direct 
from the Lords Proprietors, making him Chief Justice. 
The number of Associates varied, there being but two in 
1713, while in 1716 there were ten. These Associate Jus- 
tices were equal in authority with the Chief Justice, but 
in 1718 it was ordered that no court should be held with- 
out the latter dignitary being present. These changes 
mark the chief steps of the development of this court under 
the proprietary regime. 

The authority of this court seems to have been commen- 
surate, on the one hand, with the courts of King's Bench, 
Common Pleas, and Exchequer ; and on the other, with 
the courts of General Session of the Peace, Oyer and Ter- 
miner, and General Gaol Delivery. Its jurisdiction ex- 
tended territorially over the entire province ; but its legal 
authority was limited chiefly to cases appealed to it from 
inferior courts, and to cases whose participants were 
citizens of different districts, and also to civil cases involv- 
ing more than a certain legally fixed sum, usually fifty 
pounds. This court also exercised certain non-judicial 
functions, such as the general supervision of the roads of 
the province, the regulation of fare and the appointment 
of ferrymen; and sometimes, when so directed by the 
Assembly, it apportioned the taxes and ordered the pay- 
ment of the public indebtedness. 

An appeal might be taken from the decision of this 
court to the King. But before going to the King the 


Historical Papers. 15 

evidence bad to be sent from the General Court to the 
Governor and Council. A day was set for a rehearing, and 
this body either approved or reversed the decision of the 
General Court. But it might be carried to the King if 
either party was still dissatisfied; provided, however, that 
the party continuing the suit incur the expense of the 
same, and provided further, that the case so appealed be 
one involving no less than five hundred pounds. These 
restrictions practically did away with appeals to the 

The executive officer of this court was the Provost 
Marshal of the Province. He was appointed by the Gov- 
ernor and Council. It was his duty not only to execute 
the orders of the General Court, but to summon jurymen 
and preserve order during the convening of court. He 
also appointed his deputies to serve the Precinct Courts as 
he served the General Court. This formed a network of 
individuals who were in close communication with each 
other, and through them notice could be given the people 
of the convening of the assembly, or of an election to be 
held for members of the Assembly, and of other things of 
like importance. Another officer of this court was the 
Clerk, appointed by the Chief Justice, whose duty it was 
to act as scribe for the court. In 1679 appeared the first 
Attorney-General in the person of George Durant. He 
received his commission, as it appears, from the Governor 
and Council. 


This court, as we have already noted, came into exist- 
ence about 1665 or 1670. It was held by several justices 
of the peace in joint session, one of whom was usually 
denominated Judge. Frequent sessions of this court were 
held, although the number in different precincts varies. 
Piobably, like most other things, its sittings were influ- 
enced somewhat by the law of supply and demand. 
especially by the latter. Likewise the number of justices 

16 Court System Before the Revolution. 

in different precincts varied, and no doubt for the same 
reason. As there were no court-houses to be found prior 
to 1722, these courts were held at private residences that 
happened to be convenient and suitable for the purpose. 

The territory of jurisdiction of this court was the precinct. 
Its scope of authority underwent many changes from time 
to time, but only the more important points are here desired 
and these may be briefly summarized. In criminal caues 
its authority extended to all offences not punishable with 
life, limb or estate ; and in civil causes to suits involving 
more than forty shillings and less than fifty pounds. This 
court might punish by i 'fines, amercements, forfeitures, or 

Like a Board of Commissioners at the present day, this 
court had charge of many matters of public concern. It 
might take the probate of wills, and receive entries of land. 
It also fulfilled the functions of the English Orphan's 
Court, appointing guardians and binding orphans as 
apprentices. It looked after the general management, 
(opening and repairing roads, building bridges and appoint- 
ing overseers) of the public highways of the precinct. 
Furthermore, it supervised the administration en estates, 
appointed constables, and granted franchises for building 
mills, etc. The fact is, it formed the chief centre of local 
government in North Carolina during this early period. 

The decrees of this court were executed by an officer 
called in early times provost-marshal, but later he came to 
be called sheriff. He was a deputy of the Provost-Marshal 
of the General Court and in general sustained the same 
relation to the Precinct Court as the latter did to the General 
Court. It was a part of his duty to summon jurymen, 
which was done in much the same way as at present. 
There was also a Clerk whose business it was to keep and 
transcribe the minutes of the meetings of the court. 
Attorneys, of course, took part in the trial of cases, and in 
early Proprietory times there was a practice of allowing 
advocates, men not bred to the law, to use this court as a 


Historical Papers. 17 

kind of practice ground. ' But an end was put to this kind 
of thing by an order of the General Court forbidding any 
person to act as attorney- at- law in the province save 
such as had been licenced by the Chief Justice and Judges 
of that court. 

On the last day of any session of this court the clerk 
was required to read in open court the minutes of all the 
proceedings. After all errors had been duly corrected, 
and the document had been signed by the justices, it was 
declared the record of the court. 


The first record we have of this court was in Perquimans 
County in 1679. These officers were given quite an extended 
range in which to display other magisterial powers, being 
authorized to inquire by the oaths of good and lawful men of 
the precinct aforesaid, by whom the truth may be known of 
all and all manner of felonies, witchcraft, enchantments, sor- 
cerries, magic arts, trespasses, forestallings, regratings, and 
extortions whatsoever. ■ ' Usually their jurisdiction in civil 
cases did not extend to cases involving more than forty 

These magistrates must have been appointed by the 
Governor and Council, for we find an enactment which 
boldly affirms that "it has always been the custom, time 
out of mind, for the Governor and Commander-in-chief to 
appoint all officers in this government, by and with the 
consent of the major part of the council." 

The executive officer of this court was the constable, 
appointed annually by the justices of the precinct court, 
and invested with like powers and authorities as were the 
constables in England. 


The three courts above mentioned constituted the chief 
agencies for the administration of justice. but there were three 
other courts of secondary importance. These courts, it would 

18 Court System Before tiie Revolution. 

seem, were instituted not so much because of any actual 
need of them, as because similar courts existed in the mother 
country, but because of the additional fact that they fur- 
nished more offices to be filled by the friends and kinsfolk 
of the Lords Proprietors. 

The first of these to be be mentioned is the Court of 
Chancery. This was, as in England, a Court of equity. 
Its duties do not seem to be either numerous or difficult. 
4 'The Governor and the members of his Majesty's Council 
are the judges of this court," and the presence of the Gov- 
ernor and at least five members of the Council are essential 
to its sittings. < -The Governor may hold court when and 
where he pleases although it is seldom held oftener than 
twice a year." 

When the General Court was created, the chancery juris- 
diction still remained in the hands of the Governor and 
Council. But other functions were added to these. Wills 
were proved before it, executor's accounts were received 
by it, and lands were divided by it, and occasionally we 
find it hearing charges against cttizens, or against officers 
for misconduct in office. 

The second is the Admiralty Court, which consisted of a 
Judge, a Register, a Marshal and an Advocate. The pur- 
pose of the court was to enforce the acts of trade. Previ- 
ous to 1698, the duties of this court devolved upon the 
common law counts. In this year, however, North Carolina 
was attached to Virginia and the one tribunal served both 
states. But this arrangement did not last, and early in the 
next century the colony had its own Admiralty Court. 
This court was not only similar to the Admiralty Court of 
England, but was an actual offspring of it. Its officers 
were appointed by it, and to it reports must be made. 

The third of this group of courts was the court for the 
trial of slaves. For slaves to be required to lie in prison 
for months at a time would entail too much loss of time 
and labor on their owners, and so a special court was 
established for the speedy trial of these slave criminals. It 

Historical Papers. 


i f 

was rather a commission and was composed of tij. 
justices of the of the Precinct Court and three slave-own- 
ing free- holders. The magistrate whose commission - 
oldest, determined the time and place of meeting. After 
hearing the facts in the case the court had power to p 
sentence extending to life or members; or it might inflict 
any corporal punishment short of this. It might also 
command the proper officer of the execute its sen- 


Such in general were the courts in Xorth Carolina at the 
end of the proprietary government, and such they con- 
tinued for several years thereafter. The change of the 
Colonial government from proprietary to royal had very 
little effect upon the courts. Only such changes were 
made from time to time as circumstances demanded. It 
now remains for us to note a few of the more important of 
these changes that were made prior to the beginning of 
the Revolution. 

The first one of importance occurred in 173S. An act was 
passed f, by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Gov- 
ernor, by and with the consent of his Majesty's Council, 
and the General Assembly of this province." abolishing the 
Provost-Marshals of the Province and appointing in- 
stead a Sheriff in each County. Three Justices of the 
Peace in each county m ust be recommended biennially to the 
Governor by the court of the county, who must be -'most fit 
and able to execute the office of Sheriff for their respec- 
tive counties. " The Governor appointed the one that 
to him seemed '-meet for the office," and he served the 
next two ensuing years. " The same act changed the name 
Precinct to County, and the old Precinct Court became 
the County Court, but its organization and functions 
remained the same in essence as they had been. 

The next change of interest came in 1746 when there 
was a general revision of the courts. At this time it was 
enacted that the Court of Chancery, and the Supreme or 

20 Court System Before the Revolution. 

General Court shall be held and kej>t at the town of 
"Newbern. " But the same act created a new court, "a 
Court of Assize, Oyer and Terminer, and General Deliv- 
ery." This court was to be held twice a year by the 
Chief Justice and Attorney General at each of the follow- 
ing places: "at Edenton in Chowan County, at Wilming- 
ton in New-Hanover County, and at the court house in 
Edgecomb County. ' ' Thus the State was divided into three 
judicial districts. The number of districts was increased 
from time to time as occasion demanded, and it came to 
be called the Circuit Court, and finally the Superior Court. 
It should be noted that it was a splitting off of certain of 
the functions of the General Court leaving it to be the 
Supreme Appellate Court of the State. This latter Court 
continued to meet twice a year at Newbern. 

"And for the better establishing of the County Courts" 
it was enacted that they should be held four times in each 
year, and that the Justices of the Peace "shall have power 
and authority, as amply and fully, to all intents and 
purposes as Justices of the Peace in the Counties in 
England as well out of their Court of Quarter Sessions, as 
within, to preserve, maintain, and keep the peace within 
their respective Counties." 

This system of courts continued without material change 
till the opening of the war. The great weakness of the 
whole system was its instability. The court laws were tem- 
porary and on account of political disputes between the 
assembly and the Governor their existence was gener- 
ally limited to a certain specified period, usually two 

This led to frequent legislation with its consequent 
agitations and discussions regarding courts and court sys- 
tems. But this was greatly remedied in the closing years 
of Governor Tryon's administration. In 1768, the court 
question was again taken up, and, while the general features 
of the system were left unaltered, the duration of the same 
was extended to five years instead of two, as formerly. 

Historical Pafb*8. 21 



Very few American families can trace their ancestry 
beyond three or four generations. This is due to the lack 
of a historical spirit among the early settlers of a country. 
They make no records, and only vague traditions carry 
their histories down to other generations. When the 
Branson family came to America cannot be accurately 
determined. It is. however, certain that early in the 
eighteenth century Thomas Branson came from England 
and settled in Chatham county, X. C. This makes the 
Branson family one of the old families of Xorth Carolina, 
and identifies them with all the periods of the State's 

William Henry Branson belonged to the fifth generation 
from Thomas Branson. William's father was named 
Thomas, doubtless for the original Branson, and was born 
in Randolph county, near Asheboro, in the year 1800. 
For four generations the Branson family remained in this 
section of the State, a fact which indicates an indisposi- 
tion to rove from point to point in search of easier fortunes. 

Thomas Branson, the father of William H. Branson, was 
twice married: the first time to Miss Mary Lewellyn, the 
second time to Mrs. Prescott, who was a Miss Buck. 
William was the only child by this second wife. He was 
born near Cedar Falls, Randolph county. May 23, 1860. 
His father was a blacksmith, a vocation of large impor- 
tance in the first half of the nineteenth century. The 
blacksmith was then a manufacturer, making not only all 
the implements of farming, but all the pieces of iron furni- 
ture in the best homes. Longfellow's "Tillage Black- 
smith" commemorates the true dignity and character of 
the hero of the anvil. So Thomas Branson was a central 
figure in the industry of his community. He is described 
as a man with a large and erect frame, strong intellect, and 

22 William II. Branson. 

noble character. He was a man of deep convictions, and 
held to them with unshaken fidelity ; he was energetic and 
honest in all business transactions, while his genial nature 
drew about him a host of friends. One who knew him 
said, ' 'Never was there a more upright man than Thomas 
Branson. " His second wife was a woman of genial nature, 
and very full of energy. Their only son, William Henry, 
got a good start in his rjarents, and his record fully sus- 
tained their character in the larger world of activity to 
which he belonged. 

Thomas Branson died when William was very young. 
This, joined with the extremely poor educational facilities, 
gave young William no opportunity to attend any other 
than a local school. Nevertheless, he succeeded in grasp- 
ing the principles of arithmetic before he was twelve years 
old, for he never attended school after that age. Nature 
had endowed him with large mental powers, and from the 
earliest he seemed to have superior control over his facul- 
ties of mind. Young men who cite such instances to 
defend their indifference to educational opportunities, 
should first be sure that nature has extended to them such 
a beneficent hand as it held out to him. He not only had 
faculties, but they had impetus, and he was always learn- 
ing. Minds run down, and growth is arrested, but he had 
the genius of endless growth. 

His half sister, Miss Jennie Prescott, married Mr. J. A, 
Odell, a merchant in the town of Greensboro, N. C. At 
the age of twelve he went to live with them as a member 
of the family. This was a new era in William's life. Mr. 
Odell is not only a man of stalwart character, but his 
business genius puts him among the business leaders of 
the South Atlantic States. Young Branson had the life of 
this man to touch him from the intimate relation of the 
home at his most impressible age. This may be called 
good fortune by some men ; it was destiny to William 
Branson. He went into the Odell home, and the Odell 

Historical Papers. 23 

home went into him. He worked in the store as a clerk, 
and developed his powers to deal with large and varied 
classes of men. A young boy behind the counter of a busy 
store is not in the poorest school. To succeed as a clerk 
requires energetic study and large self-control. William 

He did not receive a salary for the first four years. He 
was a member of the Odell home, and was cared fur as a 
son. His fidelity to the home relations was so marked 
that his sister was never forced to punish him. Mr. and 
Mrs. Odell always knew his plans, and as long as he was 
with them, he never left the home without their knowledge 
and approval. To him manliness and honor were insepar- 
able, and freedom was obedience to duty and truth. It is 
no surprise that the confidence which grew up in those 
years never diminished in later years. 

William was sixteen years old when the Centennial 
Exhibition came on in Philadelphia. Mr. Odell, as an 
expression of appreciation of him and his work, took him 
to Philadelphia. This opportunity to look out on the 
world and feel the throb of its energy and genius, meant 
much to this lad of sixteen years. He did not return 
home the same boy ; he did not live again in the same 
world ; he came back a larger boy in a larger world. The 
country school in Randolph county, the Odell home and 
store, and the trip to Philadelphia, and at the same time a 
short visit to New York, were the schools in which 
William H. Branson was educated. In the first, he gained 
access to books ; in the second, access to business and 
society ; in the third, access to the impulses of the world. 
These three attainments in the possession of a highly 
endowed man aggregated no small capital with which to 
begin life. 

When William returned to Greensboro from Philadel- 
phia he had his wardrobe and fifteen cents in cash. From 
this time he became an employee of Mr. Odell on a salary 

24 William H. Braxsox. 

of fifteen dollars a mouth. Thus he entered on his busi- 
ness career. In this day of restless youth, impatient for a 
rapid rise to easy and lucrative positions, the history of 
William H. Branson is a sharp reproof. lie began at what 
men call the • 'bottom round," not because those who loved 
him could not have elevated him at once to a higher posi- 
tion, but because their wisdom suggested a better plan. 
Men rule best who have served most faithfully in every 
sphere to be ruled. Young Cornelius Vanderbilt is a 
common laborer in the shops of the New York Central 
Railroad in order that he may be a better president of the 
system. Rapid progress means early bankruptcy, and 
against this calamity young Branson was trained. As the 
years passed his salary grew, so having learned to live on 
a small salary, he knew how to save from a larger one. 
The best product of education is the control that it gives a 
man of all the powers of his nature. To think accurately 
is not enough. Unless a man can master his moral desires, 
high thinking will prove to be disastrous thinking. Wil- 
liam Branson had been trained to deny useless desires, and 
he was no longer in the way of his own success. 

At the organization of the Durham Cotton Mill, in 1S84, 
Mr. J. A. Odell was elected President, and William H. 
Branson was chosen Secretary and Treasurer. Y^oung 
Branson was practically placed at the head of this new 
enterprise, for through him Mr. Odell directed the busi- 
ness. At this time the cotton manufacturing interest 
entered on the period of expansion in the South Atlantic 
States. The growth was rapid, but the fact that untrained 
men were necessarily placed at the head of new mills, 
made it a critical period. Not only were new markets to 
be opened and new business affiliations formed, but unex- 
perienced labor was to be trained, and new social relations 
were to be adjusted. It was into the midst of these 
problems that Mr. Branson was suddenly thrown. He 
met them with an assuring faith. He was born to lead 

Historical Papers. 25 

men. He knew how to plan a work, and to organize and 

inspire his forces. No crisis could throw him into a spasm 
of excitement, but he was calmest when the ordinary man 
was most excited. During the business panic of the first 
years of this decade, he showed no timidity, but main- 
tained that stability which alone can secure the integrity 
of business. Business genius is rare enough, and great 
enough to command the admiration of all true men, and 
only a moral quackery discounts it. It is as foolish to 
think that every man can build or control large business 
enterprises, as it is to expect every man to write Shakes- 
pere's Hamlet, or Goethe's Faust. This talent belongs to 
the few, just as the poetic genius is a rare talent. Too 
much may be attributed to opportunity, or so-called 
"good fortune," but the real opportunity is the man. The 
modern teachers of economy rest their hopes too much in 
natural agencies, expecting to produce wealth by changing 
circumstances. The problem is to be solved in the man, 
not in the conditions, for the man who lacks the power to 
control circumstances, lacks the very element of success. 
Mr. Branson did not wait for times to change and condi- 
tions to become better, he changed the conditions. The 
real leader of men will never lack men to lead. By the 
force of moral energy the public mind moves about him as 
an appointed center. He seeks nothing ; everything seeks 
him. The large number of enterprises that sought the 
fostering care of Mr. Branson illustrates the truthfulness 
of the statement. He was a Trustee of Trinity College, a 
Member of the Executive Committee of Trinity College, 
Trustee of Greensboro Female College, Director of the 
Fidelity Bank, Secretary and Treasurer of Durham Cotton 
Mill and Pearl Cotton Mill, Director of the Durham and 
Oxford Railroad. Director of Odell Manufacturing Com- 
pany, Treasurer of the Joint Board of Finance of the North 
Carolina Conference, Steward of Carr Church, a Trustee of 
Church property, and associated in some way with various 

26 William H. Branson. 

other institutions. These were not honorary positions, but 
enterprises which sought the wise direction of this strong 
man. So they were to him responsibilities, and got from 
his closest study and faithful direction. In the meetings 
of these Boards he was always active. Mr. Branson's 
success as a business man cannot be attributed to any one 
element of character. He was a man whose faculties com- 
passed large and varied spheres, so that he put into his 
plans ideas gathered from many points of view, and pro- 
tected on every side. 

Men who have large aptitudes for business rarely develop 
social tastes. There is an antagonism between the two 
spheres, and only men of great adaptability can so har- 
monize them as to make them serve each other. The 
business man regards a social occasion as a waste of time, 
and when forced into a social assembly, finds himself 
cramped and vexed. Close calculations and stern facts 
injure, if they do not destroy, those sentiments upon 
which society rests. The loss of faculties is a common 
calamity, especially the more unselfish faculties that can- 
not be traded in the markets. Mr. Branson was an excep- 
tion to this rule. He could lay aside the calculations of 
the office, dismiss from his mind the conditions of the 
market, shut out the roar of machinery, and throw r himself 
with genial enthusiasm into a lawn party of his little girl, 
or a social function of largest proportions. He was not 
dragged into these; he had a highly developed social 
nature. Three things made him social. He was naturally 
a man of deep and refined sympathies, and could not. 
therefore, find his life's satisfaction in himself. The 
second cause is found in the genial associations of the 
Odell home. In it he had his natural social sentiments 
trained and gratified. The third cause was a happy mar- 
riage. December 17, 1885, he was married to Miss Clara 
Sargent, of Greensboro, N. C. Two lives may make one 
great life, or they may destroy each other. The union in 

Historical Papebs. 27 

married life is not a legal agreement, to which society sets 
its approval. It is a mystical unity, where two thoughts 
and two impulses so fuse into each other as to consume all 
separate identity in a new and larger expression. This, 
and this alone, is marriage. Legal contracts and ecclesi- 
astical ceremonies cannot so unite what nature has forever 
divorced. The law of congeniality is as rigid as the law of 
gravity, and ruin can only come from an attempt to reverse 
it. Forced nature is wrecked history. William Branson 
and Clara Sargent were married. She was to him the 
ideal woman. Genial, sympathetic, loving, and faithful, 
she was to him a poem, the passion of whose movement 
was a divine impulse, keeping alive the diviner sides of 
his nature. With him, she could never degenerate into a 
soft social show ; with her, he could never become a 
hardened man of the market. Society is at its best, or its 
worst, in the home. In this house it was at its best. Mr. 
Branson had his business day, but when that ended he 
gave himself to his family. The city of Durham will not 
forget the evening rides he took with, his family. The 
sight was a sermon on "how to love and how to be loved." 
Little William, his only son, was sent to the home of a 
neighbor on the morning of the accident that robbed him 
of a father, and was not allowed to return home till night. 
He w r as brought into his mother's room just at the hour 
of the day when the family circle was at its best. The 
little fellow at a moment felt the distress of his father's 
absence, and his first utterance was, "Mamma, where is 
papa?" His little life had its joys in the hours of a father's 
presence in the home. Little Annie's parties, his wife's 
social occasions, companionship with his friends, and the 
annual social functions of Trinity College, all received his 
best contributions of joy and gladness. 

His social nature did him great service in his business 
relations. It not only gave him ready access to the sym- 
pathies of men with whom he had transactions, but it saved 

28 William H. Bransox. 

his business plans and methods from the monotony of hard 
and cold mechanism. Between the manager and the laborer 
there must be something more than a contract. Otherwise, 
trickery and suspicions arise that hinder, if they do not 
ruin, an enterprise. Legislation can do very little, if it 
can do anything, to prevent friction between capital and 
labor. Likely, it has created more friction than it has 
prevented. The friction has its rise in that margin which 
lies outside of legal control, a sphere which modern 
sociologists have ignored. There must be a point of per- 
sonal contact between labor and capital, and no increase 
in wages will ever act as a substitute for this personal and 
moral bond. Labor wants the inspiration of personal 
regard ; capital wants the assurance of personal confidence. 
The necessity is a common necessity. Mr. Branson solved 
the problem, just as very many other wise men have solved 
it. He touched the lives of those who worked under him 
with a sincere sympathy and regard. He did not patron- 
ize them, as he did not patronize any man. He never 
called them his "operatives," "hands" or "laborers," but 
"our people." This was not a conventionalism, for he 
held them in the high esteem of kinship, and never met 
them on any other basis. The entire community organized 
around him with perfect confidence. Free himself from 
the feelings of lordship, they were free from the sense of 
serfdom. Friction is not possible under such conditions, 
and the sorrow of "our people" when this man was smitten 
down, attested the wisdom and sincerity of his leadership. 
When Mr. Branson was seventeen years old he was 
converted at a meeting held in West Market Methodist 
church, in Greensboro, X. C. At the same time he joined 
the Methodist church. His parents were Methodists, and 
his associations after he left the home of his mother, pre- 
served in him the faith of the household. He was never a 
bad boy, and knew nothing of "sowing wild oats," an 
expression used to apologize for the unnecessary sins of 



Historical Papers. 29 

youth. The most intimate companion of his boyhood tells 
with joy that he never heard young Branson use an impure 
word, or relate an unclean joke. Upon this foundation of 
purity and integrity rested his faith in the power of Christ 
to save him. Into his church membership he put all of 
his energies. He was a great churchman, studying the 
doctrines and polity of his church, and using his knowl- 
edge for its best interests. He was no bigot, but he was 
loyal at all times to the church of his choice. In every 
matter affecting the work of his church, he supported an 
aggressive policy, and took a broad view of every move- 
ment. With the ethics of narrow and selfish men he had 
no sympathy. Though young, he was one of the most 
potent factors in the North Carolina Conference. In his 
own church, his pastor found him an ideal layman, true to 
his vows, active in all church work, and the center of 
greatest influence. He was not only active in the business 
of the church, but in revival services gave his energies to 
the one work of saving his fellowman. As treasurer of the 
Joint Board of Finance the entire financial work of the 
year in the North Carolina Conference passed under his 
review. He was always present at the sessions of the Con- 
ference, never allowing business to keep him away, or to 
call him home before his work was finished. No man ever 
heard him complain that the church work interf erred with 
his business. He did not carry his factories to the Confer- 
ence sessions, and did not fret to return to them. Such 
fidelity commands confidence, and his church was glad to 
honor him. Some men use church honors for selfish ends, 
and seek them for distant aims. Mr. Branson sought 
nothing; everything sought him. Twice he was a member 
of the General Conference ; the first time at the session of 
1894, in Memphis, Tennessee, and as an alternate in the 
last session, which met in Baltimore, Maryland. May. 1898. 
In this body he was an important legislator. Broad- 
minded, aggressive, and wise, he threw his influence where 

30 William H. Branson. 

he judged best for the life and progress of the church. 
His faith could not be disturbed by those alarmists whose 
mental horizons were tortured with imaginary storms. 
< 'Their wild dreams do not disturb me," he would say. 
"Our Bishops are wise and godly men and we can risk 
them/' was fundamental with him. Some men are mon- 
umental characters whose records impart assurance and 
give great stability to cardinal truth. In the church, 
William H. Branson was such a character. 

He was a true man. His appearance spoke out the 
magnificence of his character. Tall and erect, weighing 
nearly two hundred pounds, with a large head, broad 
brow, bright and expressive eye, strong features, and 
noble movement, he was the embodiment of high honor 
and noble impulses. He had the model figure of a hero. 
God does not build such temples in which to house bats ; 
the occupant of such a divine structure has exalted rights 
which, if obeyed, makes him God's nobleman. William 
H. Branson obeyed them. He was just reaching up ro 
that period of life when everything is full of glad proph- 
ecies. All the years of his life were years of apparent 
preparation, and his friends rejoiced that the depth and 
breadth of the foundation measured an immense future. 
In the glow of these hopes, death came to him while he 
w T as in the path of duty, the only path in which he ever 
made a foot-print. A darker shadow never fell on any 
community 7 than the one that came to the city of Durham 
when, on the seventh day of April, 1899, William H. 
Branson, by a fearful accident, was taken away. In him 
seemed to be unborn history. It will have its birth in 
higher realms, for there is no cessation of life. Xoble 
powers may not have sufficient time in this life, they will 
get it in the life beyond. 

Historical Papers. 31 



On the occasion of the first annual Civic Celebration of the Trinity College Historical 
Society, February 22, iigQ. 

{Sienographically Reported by £>, W. Newsom.) 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

When, at the conclusion of the last political struggle in 
this State I came out of it somewhat the worse for wear, 
I was in a frame of mind which made me willing to accept 
an invitation to do almost anything that looked to the 
welfare of North Carolina and her people. It did not 
occur to me when the kind invitation came, that in the 
discharge of the duty of this hour I should find myself 
wearied in mind and body, by the duties of the Speaker- 
ship of the Honse of Representatives. If so. I should not 
have taken advantage of the invitation of the President of 
your Historical Association to impose my thoughts upon 
you. But I have in the past forty days lived in an atmos- 
phere in which a great deal has been said about the keeping 
of pledges and promises — a most convenient thing for 
politicians to do or not to do, according as the exigencies 
of the times, and the political outlook may suggest to the 
prudent. I am reminded that "boys make men," and we 
men to-day are interested in how the boys are going to 
think and act. I am not announcing myself as candidate 
for any office, but want to say a word in season. I have 
found it very prudent about my own household, not to 
make promises unless I intended to keep them. I bring to 
you a message, and trust that you will pass my imper- 
fections by, in regard to the manner of its delivery, in 
consideration of what I have been endeavoring to do for 
the welfare of the State. 

It is a subject of congratulation to me, as to every 
citizen of North Carolina, that this institution, under the 
guidance of these able and zealous gentlemen who so well 

32 A Saner Citizenship. 

lead yon in the paths of knowledge and fit yon for the 
duties of citizenship, lias established this Society and has 
inaugurated a series of exercises upon this day. I shall 
not undertake to indulge in any eulogium upon the father 
of our country — a subject which has not been exhausted, 
because it is inexhaustible — but I shall undertake to present 
to you some thoughts suggested by the example of this 
gentleman and citizen. The words given you in his mes- 
sage, which has just been read, present him to you in a far 
better manner than I can do, but we are reminded upon 
this day when we consider the life, services and example 
of George Washington, that the heritage which he left us 
was not only one conferring great rights and privileges but 
imposing responsibilities and duties. It is the part of 
wisdom, where one is the inheritor of these, to seek for, 
and learn to discharge, those duties. It has occurred to me 
that it would not be an entire waste of this hour, to talk 
about the demands, the needs and the necessities of North 
Carolina in a special sense, and of our country in a larger 
and more general sense, of the coming generation, of the 
boys who are soon to be men. We are living in a most 
interesting, I will not say '-the'' most interesting, age; and 
it may be that when the history of these days is written, 
unprejudiced historians will tell our children that we did 
live in one of the most important periods of the world's 
history. We have passed through one of the centuries 
filled to overflowing with important events, respecting the 
welfare of the human race. But what the coming century 
has for us will depend, in a very large measure, speaking 
from a human standpoint, upon the lessons which we learn 
from the past and present, and the manner in which we 
use those lessons, in the discharge of those duties which 
will come to us in the near future. There can be no ques- 
tion that the political, social, and industrial conditions 
which demand our attention as citizens, do call for and 
demand a sane — that is, healthy, strong, type of civic virtue 

Historical Papers. 33 

and manhood. Civilization is bat the result of those 
forces, social, intellectual, and political, which are con- 
stantly working out their results, using human agencies 
as the factors in the problem. That these forces have 
culminated and brought forth in these the last years of this 
century, conditions of exceeding interest and importance, 
no thoughtful man can fail to see. It forces itself upon 
the attention of all thoughtful men. The hrst requisite 
for a good citizen is that he shall be healthy-minded, that 
he shall be sane, that he shall not be insane or unhealthy. 
I think it is Carlyle who says, in speaking of Scott, that 
he was of all men the "healthiest-minded." That is, 
he had that type of mind and character which took a sound, 
sane, healthy view of life, its duties, responsibilities, and 
problems. He says that to be healthy-minded is no small 
thing. It has sometimes occurred to me that many of the 
political evils which come to us, and prevent the logical 
working out of the political forces by which we are sur- 
rounded, are brought about by a want of a healthy-minded 
citizenship, a failure on the part of the citizen to take in the 
entire situation. A man must not simply look at one side 
of a problem. That is what we call small politics. There 
are some who have been in our General Assemblies, if not 
in the one now in Raleigh, who imagine that every rime 
they vote upon some little measure, for instance, whether 
the Clerk of the Superior Court shall have twenty-rive or 
fifteen cents for some services, his whole political future is 
involved. To see these men talking at white heat upon 
such matters is amusing. Now that is what I call 
unhealthy-minded citizenship ; men who permit their minds 
to be distracted in dealing with large problems by such 
influences are not healthy- minded, they are affected too 
largely by the small things. The truly health}'- minded 
man enjoys all his surroundings and conditions, because 
his body is in. a healthy condition, and he breathes rhe 
pure air and all which comes with it, and he gets life and 


34 A Saner Citizenship. 

beauty and happiness out of it. So the healthy-minded 
man morally, as I believe Mr. Drummond says, is "in 
correspondence with his environments.*' Now the thing 
to do is to get in a healthy environment and then get in 
sympathy with it. This is what we need in North Carolina, 
because, as I said, we have passed through a period in 
which there has been great disturbance, in which condi- 
tions have been such that the healthy laws of political 
life have not been permitted to operate, or their opera- 
tion has been disturbed. I am not going to talk to yon 
about any practical political questions. That the polit- 
ical development of affairs in North Carolina has been 
disturbed by conditions, and I think, to a very large extent, 
by some very unhealthy conditions, is beyond controversy. 
We have reached a period in the political development 
of North Carolina, when the people have said that they 
desire to get upon a healthier basis ; and to do so, it is neces- 
sary that some very important changes be made in their 
laws, both statutory and organic. These changes are going 
to impose upon the citizen a degree of responsibility, and 
upon you young men, duties and responsibilities which 
will demand the exercise of your very highest facul- 
ties. One of the first questions for a healthy-minded 
citizen to ask, is whether a proposed measure is right. 
That is the first question which a healthy-mind asks itself. 
Too often it has been the case in the past that this question 
has been passed by. Too many simply ask whether it is 
expedient. Undoubtedly, conditions have existed among 
us which have prevented, I do not say ought to have 
prevented, the best and freest exercise of the highest 
type of citizenship. We who are living factors in North 
Carolina, hope that by our efforts, and by the endorse- 
ment of the great mass of people of North Carolina, we 
may present to you, when you shall enter upon the 
stage of life, conditions which shall enable you, and shall 
demand of you, that you shall never answer a question 

Historical Papers. 35 

in regard to your political duty in respect to its expe- 

As we all know, this question has given grave concern, 
and been a disturbing factor in the development of a healthy 
and sane and civic mind in North Carolina. In obedience 
to what we understand to be the will of the people of North 
Carolina, we are seeking to get rid of that disturbing factor. 
Till we do it, past experience has taught us that it is not pos- 
sible to give free play to the best type of citizenship in the 
State. If we shall succeed in the effort there will come to 
the white man of North Carolina, having put this thing 
away from them, responsibilities which will call for the 
very highest, sanest, strongest type of citizenship and 
manhood. I would impress upon you young men, I would 
impress upon your minds and hearts, that you must learn 
and begin now to understand, appreciate, and strengthen 
yourselves for the discharge of those duties which will 
come to you when you shall have in your keeping the 
manhood, reputation, and character of North Carolina; 
when the political antagonism between the two races shall 
have disappeared, as I most firmly believe it will do, 
believing that in m} T effort to bring it about I am acting 
from the highest patriotic motives, and without any reward 
for any party views in this matter, but loooking at it as a 
man and citizen. When done we can no longer excuse 
ourselves from discharging our duties in regard to the 
Negroes of the State, but we must meet the responsibilities 
like men, like sane, sound, virtuous-minded citizens. A 
man who has no higher conception of what "'white suprem- 
acy" means in North Carolina than the subordination of 
an inferior race to the superior is an unpatriotic citizen. It 
is not for any such purpose that I tell you that for night after 
night, till past midnight, the best thought of the Assembly 
of North Carolina has gathered together and worked and 
struggled to bring about this result, and I trust that the 
people of North Carolina, and especially the young man- 

36 A Saner Citizenship. 

hood of North Carolina, will not so understand it. When 
we present to the people an opportunity to remove this 
disturbing factor from them we at the same time present to 
them the demand to take with this deliverance a sense of 
responsibility for these people. This is one respect in 
which those conditions which are soon to come upon us 
demand a high order of sane citizenship — to deal justly 
and righlty with these people, to see that their rights are 
protected. And by so doing we strengthen ourselves. The 
whole philosophy lies in this, that in constant antagonism 
and struggling for supremacy, the worst of both races is 
brought into play, but by removing this condition, the 
highest, best and purest motives of both races will be given 
play and operation. We trust to the young manhood of 
North Carolina that we shall not be disappointed. 

The next subject which engages my mind on this line of 
thought is this : I believe that the Rip Van Winkleism, 
with which North Carolina has been twitted, is a thing of 
the past. If you observe the tendency and the signs of 
the times in North Carolina, and in keeping with the entire 
nation, we are on the eave of a great forward movement in 
the development of industries and in the accumulation of 
wealth. The carrying of our commerce into all parts of 
the world, the unbridling and loosing of American com- 
merce and going into the markets of the world to compete 
with all other nations and peoples, is to my mind one of 
the brightest signs of the times. I have longed to see the 
day when commercial slavery should be ended ; I believe 
that the very highest type of manhood is produced by the 
freest possible play of those faculties with which God has 
endowed man, so I believe in a community sense, the high- 
est and best in the community, state, and nation, is 
brought about by the freest possible play of those forces 
which build up and make a grand and glorious people. 
Were it in my power I would raze every custom house in 
the world. They have been the barriers of Christian civil- 

Historical Papers. 37 

ization, done more to delay the time when there shall be a 
common brotherhood among all the peoples of the world, 
to retard the development of the human race, to bring 
about wars and strife, to develop selfishness, and to 
a thousand other obstacles to the highest development of 
the peoples of this world. I think I see in the signs of the 
times a removal of these barriers, and as this comes about 
you are going to find that right here among us, and I see 
it every day. I see it when sitting in the speaker's chair in 
Raleigh, w T hen bills are sent from every section of the 
state, asking us to charter industrial corporations and 
make the waters do service, to give to the state opx>ortu- 
nity to develop its great resources. Now this condition of 
things is going to bring about a demand that we shall 
regulate and practically control this new development, this 
new T spirit of enterprise and progress in North Carolina. 
Nothing that is good should be obstructed, but we know 
that some times it happens that the very highest aspira- 
tions of man have to be guided with discretion, because 
something is said to us about a zeal that is without knowledge. 
Therefore it becomes the duty of a sane, sound citizen in 
North Carolina, to deal wisely w^ith these forces. To 
thwart or to hinder the development of the state by legis- 
lation, to say to the young man whose mind is active, who 
sees in the river that he passes along in the forest that 
surrounds his home, an opportunity for usefulness in the 
acquisition of wealth, that we will not encourage him, to 
stifle that ambition, is unwise. We should see to it that it 
develops along healthy, sound lines, that shall work out 
the highest and best results. 

Freedom is defined somewhat like this : It is the right 
to exercise ones faculties, to do those things which one has 
a right to do, and in doing them not to interfere with 
others' rights to exercise like faculties. When you get 
that condition of things, then you have a Utopia, when 
every man can move along in harmonious relation with 

38 A Sankk Citizenship. 

every other man. working his destiny and reaching out for 
the highest and best results of his labors, without doing 
any injury or injustice to any other man. Then you have 
a sane, sound, political condition, and it is to that end we 
should strive. In doing that you find a great many dis- 
turbing elements. 

In the first place, when you go out and begin your life 
work, you will find a great many people who are always 
believing that the country is about ruined, that this or 
that particular industry is overdone, that this or that 
thing don't pay. These croakers who go about complain- 
ing because, forsooth, they have not put in enough industry 
or skill, have not been willing to fit themselves to discharge 
the duties of life, that therefore it can't be done. They 
are unhealthy, or sickly people. A healthy-minded, 
healthy-bodied young man who has built up for himself a 
strong, vigorous body, and strong mental, or moral calibre, 
should not be discouraged by them. I have been hearing 
about this old state being on the down grade ever since I 
was 21 years old. In the town in which I live I have heard 
it prophesied year after year that the town had outgrown 
itself and was not going to grow any more. I have some 
friends there who thought that real estate had reached the 
veiy highest value years ago. Yet it is higher to-day, 
w T orth more, more folks want it, is put to more useful 
purposes, than ever in the history of the town. So don't 
get discouraged when you encounter these sickly minded 
folks, who are always prophesying that the State of Xorth 
Carolina has reached its acme and is going to take a down 
grade. That is not a healthy-minded condition. I was 
very much pleased in reading the other day what I thought 
was one of the best addresses which I have read for many 
years, that of Senator Hoar, from Massachusetts, made in 
Charleston. I think it was one of the best tributes to the 
civilization of South Carolina and her people, and one of 
the finest settings forth of the present conditions, by a 

Historical Papers. 30 

wise and good man, I ever saw. He said that the older 
he grew the more hopeful he became and the more confi- 
dence he had in his fellowman. And it struck me that no 
human being could have paid to that old man so grand a 
tribute as he unconsciously paid to himself. He had 
evidently led a healthy life, he was in a healthy frame of 
mind. He is a man of seventy years, who has spent a 
large part of that time in public life. And that which 
gave his words a special value, was that he was in a city 
and said those words, and applied them to the conditions 
which he there found, a city which, some forty years ago, 
expelled his father because of his views about a peculiar 
institution to which those people were then attached. 
Now, gentlemen, I tell you it demands a man to have said 
those words, and to have said them in that place. If you 
and I can live to be three score and ten years old, and can, 
at that time, give that testimony, if that is our experience, 
we shall have lived to a grand purpose. The address so 
impressed my mind that I love to dwell upon it. There 
are thousands of like experiences. I believe it is the 
experience of all good men. but it was so generous and 
brave to have said it then and there. I trust that the time 
will come when the very highest type of manhood in North 
Carolina can go to Boston and say the same thing. 

Speaking upon this line of what I think to be the future 
of North Carolina, in respect to the industrial development 
of the state, I want to say this to you. gentlemen : A man 
who makes the accumulation of wealth to worship it, to 
make an idol of it, is a base human being ; but the man 
who makes it, who works and labors and makes it honestly 
that he may use it for the benefit of his fellowman. is 
entitled to and should receive, the respect of all good men. 
Of course advantageous circumstances often give a man an 
opportunity to make great wealth. You go into the 
country where our boys are raised, walk about the roads 
and come upon an old man who has a good farm and a 

40 A Saner Citizenship. 

comfortable home, talk to him and you will find that he is 
a sane man. He may not be an intellectual man, or have a 
very broad view of questions, but you will find in general, 
that he is a man endowed with a good strong mind, and 
has got sense. I do not speak about those men who, by 
sharp practices, make money. That is a different class of 
people altogether. Now, I favor very much that we should 
put into the constitutional amendment the provision, that 
a man who has three hundred dollars of taxable property, 
should vote, whether or not he could read or write. I 
believe it would be a conservative provision in our law. 
Were you aware that, by the laws of this state, for 
many years a man could not sit upon a jury unless he was 
a freeholder. There is nothing in the possession of a piece 
of land that confers upon him any fitness for service upon 
the jury, but it was a recognition of the fact that he had a 
stake in the w r elfare of the state, and that was the philos- 
ophy of it; that if he was a freeholder and took enough 
interest in his country and state and family to buy for 
himself a home, that it gave him an interest and made him 
a conservative citizen. 

Now, there is another thing that I think indicates in a 
high degree a sane, sound citizenship — and I say that in 
North Carolina we haven't got as much of it as we ought 
to have — and that is "patience." Did it ever strike you 
how many failures North Carolina had to record because 
her people were so impatient? They were so unwilling 
when a new line of work was undertaken, to wait and 
abide the result. I do believe that more harm is done to 
our best development by this spirit of restlessness and 
unwillingness to wait than any other. They too frequently 
forget that you cannot manufacture institutions. You 
boys have learned this was tried in the early settlement of 
North Carolina. A wise philosopher in England sat down 
and wrote a constitution for North Carolina, and it was a 
beautiful piece of work, but you know that when they 

Historical Papers. 41 

sent it over here and tried to make it lit our people — these 
people that lived in the woods and had good practical 
sense, they rejected it. It had not grown out of their 
political conditions and wants. Probably there is nothing 
in North Carolina affecting its material welfare, which is 
more needed than good roads ; and yet I pledge you my 
word that if you read the statutes of North Carolina ior 
the last fifteen years, there has hardly been a road law 
passed by one legislature that was not repealed by the 
next. I want to say one thing to you about that sort of 
thing, that in the development of the material resources 
and other interests of the state that you must have 
patience. The good things in this life don't grow in a 
day. One of the saddest and yet one of the noblest lives 
I ever read in this day and generation is that of Mr. Glad- 
stone. I think he was one of the finest specimens of 
manhood the 19th century has produced, and pardon me 
for saving so, but I believe I have read every biography 
that has been written of him. But this thought always 
occurs to me in reading of that old man in his great efforts 
to advance the highest and best interests of his country, 
that it did seem that every time when he w r as about to 
accomplish the great work he had in hand something- 
happened for w^hich he was in no sense responsible, which 
thwarted and dashed all his hopes. And yet that old man 
never complained, but went right ahead. He finally suc- 
ceeded in a large measure. One of the lessons taught us 
by that old man is the necessity for patience. That is 
equally true of him whose birthday we celebrate. General 
Washington rendered to his country no greater service 
than that which he did between the treaty of peace and 
the making of the constitution, and that service was 
rendered not on the battlefield, but when he was with 
patience and courage holding together the discordant 
elements which had come out of that great war of the 
revolution, and which were threatening to separate, disin- 

42 A Saner Citizenship. 

tegrate and destroy the results of that great struggle. If 
you will permit me, in the presence of these professors, I 
will advise you to read that chapter in the life of Wash- 
ington in which he reached the very highest point of 
greatness. When his soldiers, feeling that injustice had 
been done them under the instigation of General Gates, 
and others were threatening to destroy the fruits of the 
great victory which they had won under his leadership. 
How he waited and waited ! How he held together all 
those discordant and disturbing elements till, in the Prov- 
idence of God, and the operation of social and political 
forces, the constitution of the United States was formed 
and fixed as the basis upon which has been built the grand 
and glorious progress of this American nation, and by a 
due regard to which is to be gained all that is safe and 
honorable for this great nation in the future. 

It is a high test of citizenship to be patient — not to be 
restless, not to be disturbed by the little passing breezes. 
Do as David Crocket said, (i Be sure you are right then 
go ahead." Stick to your guns, and if human experience 
is worth anything in life, you shall have your reward. 
There are men in Xorth Carolina to-day who are striking 
illustrations of this truth, men prominent in political life, 
who have been rejected over and over again by the poli- 
ticians. The late Judge Merrimon said to a young man 
who got uneasy about his political future (he had voted to 
prohibit the sale of liquor, and the wise men told him he 
was done for, in the political phrase) Judge Merrimon said 
to him, "Xow my young friend, if you want to run for 
Township Constable, I think that thing would hurt you 
very much, but if you have aspiration for anything great 
and grand, do not trouble yourself about it. Be patient 
and wait, because the patient judgments of men will always 
be just and right.'' It is an unhealthy condition of mind 
that permits itself to be disturbed and restless over every 
little obstacle. 

Historical Papers. 43 

Now, another thing. It is not necessary that a man 
should exert a considerable influence over this world, or 
that in his life he should be a United States Senator or a 
Governor. The fact is that we have got a Governor in 
North Carolina who is just now exerting as little influence 
as any man in the State. If it wasn't that I am reminded 
every day that I see a door leading to the executive office, 
I should have forgotten that he had any office. That is 
rather a sad condition of things. Why is it so? I will 
not stop to inquire. I hope it will not be so in the future. 
But what I was going to say, is this : It is not only neces- 
sary that a man shall have character himself to make a 
good citizen, but shall have enough force behind that char- 
acter to impress itself upon the community in which he 
lives. There are many men in North Carolina to-day who 
are good citizens, that is to say, who pay their debts and 
taxes, but do not bother themselves about who is nomi- 
nated for office. If a question comes up in their community, 
affecting its material or moral interests, they put their 
hands in their pockets and say like Gallio of old, "we 
care nothing for those things, we have our families to look 
after." If they are merchants, they say, "we have our cus- 
tomers to look after, we don't care about these questions.'' 
If lawyers, they say, "now our clients take different views 
of these matters. " Now my young friends, such are not 
sound, strong citizens. 

It was said to me by a gentleman in North Carolina some 
time ago, speaking of one of the best men we had. Judge 
Joseph J. Davis, "There never arose an issue in the little 
town in which he lived, that he did not take an active 
interest in it. No matter what it was, no body had to wait 
to find out his opinion, because he had at once arrayed 
himself on the side of right and put his character in the 
scales." I tell you I have very little sympathy with men 
who sit about in their stores and offices and on the streets 
and whittle goods-boxes and the like, who are always talking 

44 A Saner Citizenship. 

about the bad men in their town government, and those who 
are not the right sort to make aldermen, and this and that 
always wrong ; yet when you call a meeting to get the expres- 
sions of the best and highest citizens in the town you never 
find them there. It is not necessary, and I do not advise 
you, to be politicians, in the sense that you should enter 
into the scramble for office, except in so far as it gives you 
an opportunity to discharge high and responsible duties. 
In that sense there is a great deal in it. It is not 
necessary for every man to enter into political life in 
that sense, but it is necessary when you get twenty-one 
years old and you get what of course all students are 
going to get, an education, to be true to the State and the 
community in which you live, and every time an issue 
comes up in your town, if nothing more than opening a new 
street, if it affects the health, the moral, the mental, or 
any other interest of your town, make up your mind what 
your duty is and be active. And then you have been a 
sane citizen. I did not come here to tell you anything 
new T , my young friends, but there is another thing. Be 
conservative, and what conservatism means is this: it does 
not mean to be an old fogy about things, but being con- 
servative is always to do this: first, find the condition in 
whicli the subject matter of any proposition is ; find out its 
past; if any evil incrustation has grown up around it 
which demands to be stricken from it, go to work and 
strike it off, but do not destroy the thing itself. That is 
one serious trouble in American life, we have not enough 
reverence for the past. I think it was Burke who said that 
the great strength of the English people lay in the fact 
that they never cut loose from their past. They took that 
which was and made it the basis of that which was to be. You 
see a striking example of the contrary in the conduct of 
the French. When things don't suit them the first thing 
thev do is to cut off the heads of the kins: and of a number of 
other people, and then some idealist fixes up a scheme of gov- 

Historical Papers. 45 

eminent, ill-suited, and they undertake to fit it on to their 
body politic, and the last condition is about as bad as the 
first. The Englishman does not do anything of that kind. 
When he linds that a certain unhealthy condition exists, 
he destroys the condition but not the government. As 
Tennyson says : 

"May freedom's oak for ever live 

With stronger life from day to day ; 
That man's the best conservative 
Who lops the molded branch away. " 

It is to preserve the trunk, the germ, the thing. Knock 
off the dead branches, and growth that is not healthy. As 
an illustration of this, we felt, and we feel, that we have a 
growth, something that is not natural, that would not have 
been there if wisdom and sanity and sound statesmanship 
had been there; something that has been fixed to the body 
politic, and in the interest of the thing itself, and for the 
preservation of the best there is in the State, we cut it off 
and separate it from ourselves. We get rid of the body of 
this death that has been hanging upon us. That is con- 
servatism, not radicalism. I say to you that it was the 
most intense conservatism in the General Assembly of 
North Carolina that fought day and night for the Consti- 
tutional Amendment which will be submitted to the people 
of North Carolina. It is not radicalism. It was the 
conservative element in that body that produced that 
document and it was by labor and effort that the people 
of North Carolina will never know. That document, 
whether it will be indorsed by the people of North Carolina, 
it will not be for me to say, but it was wrought by men 
with tears in their eyes. I saw men wrestling with what 
they thought to be duty to themselves, on the one hand 
and duty to the State on the other. That was generous 
and manly citizenship. We need that. 

Your Historical Society is doing a great and noble work 
in unveiling the records of the past that you may see what 

46 A Saner Citizenship. 

has been done by the good men of North Carolina, that 
you may learn and preserve that which is worth having 
and saving. It is by conserving and preserving the best of 
that which is, as the basis of building up the best and 
highest which is to be. That is wise, sane, conservative. 
Now I have taken up more of your time than I intended. 
I confess that this is a subject in which I am deeply inter- 
ested. I know that you, young men, whose minds and 
hearts are being stimulated day by day, feel an interest in 
it. I know that these thoughts, whether you agree with 
me or not. are of interest to you, and I have taken the 
occasion to avail myself of your kindness to say this much. 
But let us all remember that in addition to, and as the 
complement of, these things, that the highest and best stan- 
dard of citizenship is always measured by a faith in God 
and man. I have no confidence in the political purity and 
welfare of any community that is not based upon Christian 
manhood. You need not talk to me about a man's having 
faith in man, who has not faith in God. It can't be. I 
think it is Benjamin Kidd who says that the work of the 
people who have done anything for the upbuilding of their 
State, is based upon a recognition of a supernatural power, 
something divine. We should, in dealing with these 
questions, remember always, not that we should in any 
sense, or under any circumstances, pass the line which the 
wisdom of the fathers and the experience of the past have 
shown us, in respect to the mingling of the affairs of church 
and State. But the difference between the preservation 
of Christian manhood, and the mingling of church and 
State, is as far removed as day and night. Cultivate these 
virtues of manhood and citizenship, but remember always 
that the basis upon which thy are to be built, and the only 
safe basis upon which the individual or political life of the 
community can be founded, is the recognition of the great 
truths taught us by God himself, an implicit faith in God 
and man. Do that, and then wisely abide by the experiences 

Historical Papers. 47 

of the past, a recognition, of not only the present condi- 
tions by which all interests are to he harmonized, to be 
made work for the glory of the State. Then, and not till 
then, may we hope that this grand old commonwealth may 
take her place beside others of her most prosperous sisters 
in the community of States, that we may exert our influ- 
ence in the affairs of the nation ; when these new problems 
shall be for us to deal with, we may be enabled the better 
to take our stand beside them and. move along side by side 
with them in a national sense, in working out the problem 
upon which the hopes of the whole human race depend be- 
cause as the history of this great republic soon is to be written 
for the next century, so I believe the history of the whole 
human race will be written. So it has been given to us 
to carry the light of Christian civilization, whera, I do not 
know, but wheresoever His hand points and guides and 
directs it is our duty to go. 

48 Thomas L. Clingman. 



The sketch of General Clingman which his niece, Mrs. 
Kerr, contributed to The Archive Tor March, 1899, deals 
with the personal side of her distinguished uncle. It has, 
therefore, seemed to me that a further sketch which 
should deal with his political career would not be without 
value to North Carolinians. There have been many sons of 
our State who are ranked by their admirers as the equals 
of General Clingman in political ability; but there are 
few who can be thought to have equaled him in party 
prominence. His tireless activity kept him thoroughly up 
in any line of business in which Congress might be inter- 
ested. In the exciting debates that preceded the Civil 
War he made it a custom not to retire before two o'clock. 
He soon was able to learn who were the men who were up 
latest and by talking to the others early in the evening 
and to these later on he was able to exchange views with 
a large number of men, so that when he went into the 
House in the morning his information as to the latest 
changes in public opinion was remarkably accurate. His 
impetuosity, fearlessness, and honesty made him an effec- 
tive debater. He was ambitious. He determined early in 
life that he would be President, and but for the sectional 
issues that stood in his way, it is possible he would have 
reached that goal. He had the good sense to be a practi- 
cal politician in the better nature of the term. He knew 
the people, without pandering to their prejudices ; he knew 
the point beyond which it would not be safe to try to lead 
them, and in the event he was with them. More than 
this he was a man of the people. His ideals were their 
ideals and it was no violence to his conscience when he 
stood for the things they believed in. He was not fastid- 
ious in his dress, although he was neat. He loved homely 
virtue and those who knew him well believed that in this 
respect his love was but an outcome of his own character. 

Historical Papers. 49 

It was in 1842 that he was first elected to Congress. lie 
was then thirty years old. In politics he was a Whig, but 
he was too original in his way of thinking to yield himself 
to the current of a party majority, lie always ran as an 
independant candidate, and late in life congratulated 
himself that he had always been free from the tyianny of 
a nominating convention. His district was a mountain 
district, lying around Buncombe county. The inhabitants 
were as independent as he. They were accustomed to look 
more closely at the leader than at the party. To them he 
became an ideal — --Tom. Clingman" he was affectionately 
called by man, woman, and child. He first asked these 
people for their suffrages in 1840, when he was a candi- 
date for a seat in the State Senate. They responded 
liberally and he was elected by two votes to his opponent's 
one. In 1844 in one of his first speeches in the House of 
Representatives he said of the people of his district: "My 
district is unapproachable. She stands alone in her 
strength and dreads no contact with Democracy. On the 
contrary she courts it. She would gladly embrace in either 
arm the two strongest Democratic districts in the State 
and they would fail under that grasp as did the columns 
of the Phillistine edilice before the strength of Sampson.-' 
His prediction was a good one. As long as he led the 
Whigs in his district the district was theirs beyond ques- 
tion ; and when at laat he appeared as a Democrat candi- 
date he carried it for that party. 

His first notable action in the House was to oppose the 
rule by which the House refused to receive petitions to 
abolish slavery. This was a measure which the Southern 
members, whether Whigs or Democrats had supported 
generally. It had arisen out of a foolish idea that such 
petitions were insulting to the dignity of the South. It 
had given the abolitionists an opportunity to cry that the 
right of petition was abrogated at the behest of the 
overbearing slave-owners. Moreover, it did not stop anti- 

50 Thomas L. Clingman. 

slavery petitions. On the contrary they came faster than 
ever. Mr. John Quincy Adams, who was the leader of 
the anti-slavery sentiment in Congress, always appeared at 
his desk on the day for receiving petitions behind a huge 
pile of those documents. To read the titles of these and 
to refuse to receive them had a greater effect on the popu- 
lar mind than to have received them would have had. 
Mr. Clingman realized that the rule in question was 
inexpedient from a party standpoint and in point of fact 
futile. He with a half dozen other Southern Whigs voted 
against the rule and it was defeated. He gave his reasons 
as follows: i4 I voted against the rule excluding abolition 
petitions, not only because I regarded that rule as an 
infringement of the right of petition, but because I was 
well aware that most of the citizens of the Northern States 
viewed it in that light ; and I was not willing to do violence 
to the feelings of a large portion of the Union, for the 
mere purpose of preserving a rule that was of no practical 
advantage in itself. 1 ' It is certain that his opposition did 
much to defeat the measure. 

His next notable speech was one delivered on January 
6, 1845, on -The Causes of Mr. Clays Defeat.'' There 
was in Mr. Clingman a strain of Indian blood, his mother's 
grandmother being Elizabeth Pledge, a daughter of the 
Cherokee chieftain. It seems to me that from this source 
Mr. Clingman must have received a certain amount of 
savage vindictiveness, which came to the front only when 
he was aroused and which spared no feelings. Here the 
speaker was smarting under the recent defeat of Mr. Clay, 
to whom he was ardently attached. He was in no mood 
for mercy and he attacked his opponents in the most 
candid manner. He charged them with favoring: the abo- 
litionists in the North and opposing them in the South, 
with being held together solely by "the cohesive power of 
public plunder," with favoring a high tariff in Pennsyl- 
vania and opposing it elsewhere, and with deliberate 

Historical Papers. 51 

"misrepresentation and fraud" generally. Mr. Polk was 
accused of using language "asdoublefaced as the responses 
of the old Delphic oracle," and the history of the world 
afforded no other "example of fraud and falsehood on a scale 
so extensive." The Democrats were charged with election 
frauds through the use of "repeaters" as well as through 
illegal voters. The members of the "Empire Club," a 
political organization of New York which had rendered 
good services to the cause of Mr. Polk, were denounced as 
"gamblers, pickpockets, droppers, thimble-riggers, burners 
and the like." Moreover in this case he gave a bill of 
particulars. This he did with great plainness, so that 
there was no need that any one should not see what he 

Mr. Clingman was never an admirer of Mr. Calhoun. 
In fact he regarded that gentleman as inimical to the true 
interests of the South, and at this early period in his career 
in Congress he was accustomed to speak of him with much 
bitterness. In this speech he said': "Mr. Senator Benton 
did great injustice to John C. Calhoun, when he said, if 
common report be true, that the same John C. Calhoun, 
so far from being a statesman, had 'never invented even a 
humbug.' The fact cannot be disputed that John C. Cal- 
houn was the first to take 'the very highest ground for the 
South,' the prime originator of the policy of objecting 
to the reception of petitions, of which the twenty-tifth 
rule was a parcel. Hard then is the necessity which com- 
pels the peculiar followers of that gentleman to make a 
burnt offering of the first and only offspring of that idol." 
Later on in this same speech he again took up the same 
subject. He said: "As I have had occasion to allude to 
John C. Calhoun, I take it upon myself to say that looking 
at his course for more than twelve years, with the excep- 
tion of a few years after 1S37, when he hoped from his 
new connection with the Democratic party that he might 
become President of all the United States. — I say, sir that 

52 Thomas L. Clingman-. 

his course, whether considered with reference to the tariff 
and nullification, to agitation on the subject of aboli- 
tion and slavery, or his mode of managing the Texas 
question, is precisely that which a man of ordinary 
sagacity would take who designed to effect a dissolution 
of the Union. And that such is his object can only be 
denied by those who hold him a monomaniac. ' ; 

Of this speech Mr. Clingman himself said: <; To those 
unacquainted with the state of political excitement then 
prevailing, this speech will seem excessively violent ; but 
in giving expression to my own earnet feelings, I did not 
exceed the bounds which party friends justified. " The 
Rev. Mr. Hammett, a Democratic Representative from 
Mississippi, but a personal friend, afterwards told me that 
I had said the bitterest things ever uttered on the floor of 
the House. Mr. Mosely, of New York, a political friend, 
said that the Democrats, while I was speaking, reminded 
him of a flock of geese on hot iron. During the first part 
of the speech, Dromgoole, of Virginia, who sat just by 
me, seemed to enjoy quietly my hits at the Calhoun wing 
of the party, between which and the Van Buren or Hunker 
Democrats there was much jealousy and ill feeling; but 
after I had directed my attack on the Northern wing of 
his party, his manner changed and his countenance indi- 
cated much anger. I was subsequently told that many 
members of the party insisted that unless Mr. Yancey, 
who obtained the floor to speak the next day, would assail 
me violently, that he should give way to some other mem- 
ber of the party. Hence his remarks, which led to a 
personal difficulty, were perhaps influenced to some extent 
by the wishes of his political friends.'' To the Whigs the 
speech was greatly satisfactory. It opened the eyes of 
many of them and aroused the indignation of all ; so that 
Mr. Clingman was of the opinion that at that moment 
they might have carried the country. 

The Democrats did indeed put up Mr. Yancey to reply to 

Historical Papers. 53 

this speech of Mr. Clingman's. Ordinarily Mr. Yancey's 
speeches were dignified, cultured, and considerate. As a 
whole this speech, as it appears in the Globe was of the 
same nature. But in a short passage he referred to Mr. 
Clingman in terms of the greatest contempt. This was 
more than that gentleman would take. He was a born 
fighter and no one who knew ever doubted his courage. 
He challenged Mr. Yancey to light a duel. The latter was 
an excellent shot. He accepted and chose pistols for his 
weapons. At the first shot Mr. Yancey missed and Mr. 
Clingman unwilling to make any woman a widow fired 
over his antagonist's head. Then friends interfered and the 
affair ended. 

Except for his position in favor of receiving anti-slavery 
petitions, Mr. Clingman had at this time said but little 
about the slavery question. The Wilmot Proviso, how- 
ever, made it necessary for him to take a stand. Accord- 
ingly on December 22, 1S47 he spoke ou "The Political 
Aspects of the Slavery Question. * ' He began by discussing 
Mr. Calhoun. That gentleman had said in the Senate 
that the territories being common property of the whole 
Union, Congress had no right to exclude from them any 
citizen from anv State. This statement, said Mr. Clingman, 
was not true. The territories were truly held for the use 
of all the people ; but all of the citizens could not go to 
one State. Congress could not carry out that kind of a 
distribution, but it could do the next best thing; it could 
distribute the territories among the citizens on a sensible 
basis. He thought, furthermore, that Congress might 
regulate all property in the territories, acting however 
under the provisions of the Constitution. But it must be 
just to all citizens. He did not discuss the moral grounds 
of slavery, but he spoke very bitterly of the abolitionists, 
whose influence, however, he thought to be of no conse- 
quence. As for the negroes themselves he rjronounced 
them an inferior race and by no means able to exercise the 


£54 Thomas L. Clingman. 

gift of citizenship which the abolitionists proposed to give 
to them. 

The most striking part of this speech is that in which 
reference is made to Mr. Calhoun. Mr. Clingman now 
returned to, and amplified, the charges he had hinted at 
in his speech of March 7, 1S44 ; viz., that Mr. Calhoun was 
responsible for the great feeling in the country on the 
question of slavery. He said: -'After the unpleasant 
difficulty growing out of Nullification had been satisfac- 
torily settled, there was a general disposition both at the 
South and the North to bury all sectional and local ill 
feelings and differences. Unfortunately, however, for the 
repose of the country, Mr. Calhoun, who had been a 
prominent actor on the side of Nullification, found himself 
uncomfortable in his then position. The majorities of 
everyone of the Southern States were not only opposed to 
him politically, but viewed him with suspicion and distrust. 
Being ambitious of popularity and influence, he sought to 
restore himself to the confidence of the South in the first 
place and seized upon the slave question as a means to 
effect his end. He professed to feel great dread lest the 
North should take steps in contravention of our rights. 
and to desire only to put the South on her guard against 
the imminent danger which was threatening her. He only 
wished to produce agitation enough to unite the South, 
though every body knew that there was, in relation to this 
subject, no division there. Whether he had ulterior views 
against the integrity of the Union, it is not my purpose to 
inquire; I am only looking at acts, not inquiring into 
motives. The former obviously looked to the creation of 
a political party based on the slavery question." To this 
general charge he proceeded to bring evidence. The con- 
duct of the United States Telegraph was cited. In 1S33 
this journal was known as the organ of Mr. Calhoun. It 
was edited by Mr. Duff Green. It began at that time 
to publish a series of iniiamatory articles calling on the 

Historical Papers. 55 

"South to awake, to arouse to a sense of her danger." At 
the same time it charged the North with the intention of 
liberating the slaves. It published every abolition docu- 
ment or "frothy incendiary paragraph" that it could find. 
This matter was printed not occasionally but daily, and 
whole columns of it at a time. Some sensible democratic 
papers repudiated this plan. The Telegraph denounced 
them as traitors to the South. In response to this the Rich- 
mond Enquirer said: "We do not declaim about slavery 
because we do not believe that the citizens of the North 
are mad enough to trench upon our rights." The Penn- 
sylvanian, another democratic journal, declared: "The 
conduct of the United States Telegraypk in relation to the 
slavery of the South is incomprehensible. Day after day 
that incendiary print is endeavoring to stimulate an 
excitement on this fearful topic, by representing the des- 
perate journals of a few fanatics in New York and Boston 
as emanations of the late patriotic proclamations of our 
beloved President" — an allusion to President Jackson's 
proclamation against Nullification. When the Telegraph 
took up this line of action, continued Mr. Clingman, the 
country was resting quietly in the influence of the Missouri 
Compromise. Neither the South nor the North was 
alarmed. Nobody was uneasy save Mr. Calhoun and his 
uneasiness was due to the fear that he was about to be 
shelved by the public; and so the Southern people must 
be stirred. k4 Already," shrieked the Telegraph to the 
South, ' 4 has the ban of empire gone forth against your 
best and wisest statesmen. Fidelity to you is political 
death to them ! Treason to you is the surest prospect to 
federal promotion ! Is it wise, is it safe, is it .honorable to 
sleep over such wrongs?" "When this occurrence began," 
continued Mr. Clingman, "the people of the North, not 
understanding the game that was to be played, seemed 
to be surprised. They declared that the South was too 
timid and too sensitive on the question ; that there was no 

56 TnoMAS L. Cling max. 

danger to be apprehended from the machinations of the 
abolitionists; and that their movements were condemned 
by ninety-nine out of every one hundred of the citizens of 
the free States. . . . Intelligent Southern men, too, who 
traveled through the Northern States declared the same 
thing." Yet the Telegraph was not satisfied. It became 
more furious than ever. "Such returns seemed to chill 
the generous enthusiasm of the North." This is strong and 
not uncertain language. If the charges contained in it are 
true it marks the beginning of great national calamity. 
The infuriation of the South in the beginning brought 
about the conditions of out of which war could not but 
come. If, as Mr. Clingman charged, Mr. Calhoun wrought 
that infuriation, and for his own selfish political ends, it is 
to him that we must charge the misery and death that the 
war brought to the South and to the North. Is the charge 
a true one? I am not at present able to say. I have seen 
politicians do as much in my own day. I am not sure that 
they would not have done it in 1833. It is but just to add 
that in 1848 Mr. Clingman retracted this charge to the extent 
that it gave Mr. Calhoun the intention of dissolving the 
Union. This change of view was due to an incident which 
happened at that time and which, said Mr. Clingman, 
"satisfied me that Mr. Calhoun was really a friend of the 
Union on the principles of the Constitution. ' Here it must 
be remembered, however, that Mr. Clingmams own views 
were changing, and that when they had completed that 
process of change he was a Democrat, and one of the most 
advanced defenders of the Southern rights side then in the 

In this same speech, Mr. Clingman discussed secession, 
which was then much talked of. He did not consider 
secession as beyond the range of the probable, and when 
it should come he thought that the slave States would be 
able to maintain themselves. For himself he said : ; 'I am 
for maintaining our present Constitution of government as 

Historical Papers. 57 

long as any human exertion can uphold it. . . . But 
when a great organic change is made in that Constitution — 
a change which is to degrade those who have sent me to 
represent them here — then, sir, at whatever cose of feeling 
or of personal hazard, I will stand by the white race, the 
fieemen of the South. " 

However much he might have condemned the efforts of 
Mr. Calhoun in stirring up the South as early as 1833, it is 
evident that the South once excited he was on the Southern 
side. As the Northern Whigs came more and more under 
the anti-slavery influence the Southern Whigs veered more 
and more away from them. As early as 1848, says Mr. 
Clingman, he was convinced that the Northern Whigs 
could not be relied on to keep their promises to the South. 
In the fall of 1849 he was traveling in the North and he 
was convinced from what he saw and heard there that in 
the coming Congress the Northern Whigs and Van Buren 
men would support the Wilmot Proviso. Moreover, he 
was of the opinion that many Northern Democrats, tired 
of contending against the strong anti-slavery current at 
home, would help to pass the Proviso and thus force Pres- 
ident Taylor, the head of the Whigs, either to approve 
the measure and so to alienate his Southern vote, or to veto 
it and alienate the Northern Whigs. On his return to 
Washington he proposed to some of his colleagues that an 
effort be made to arouse Southern sentiment so that the 
North should not dare to proceed to extremes. The prop- 
osition was agreeable, and by request he wrote to Mr. 
Foote, of Mississippi, a letter in which he declared that 
all the South ought to unite in resisting tne encroachment 
of the North "in a manner commensurate with the violence 
of the attack. ?? Mr. Foote was a leader of the extreme 
side of the Democratic party in the South. When, there- 
fore the correspondence between the two was x>ublished it 
made a deep impression on the public mind. The South 
was aroused. The result was that some of the Southern 

58 Thomas L. Clingman. 

Whigs voted against the party candidate and after a long 
contest Mr. Howell Cobb, of Georgia, was elected Speaker 
over Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, of Massachusetts ; but in 
this case Mr. Clingman seems to have voted wi th his 

In the same session Mr. Clingman made a speech "I n 
Defence of the South against Aggressive Movement of the 
North." He eulogized the civilization of the South as 
follows : "I regard it as right to say on this occasion, that 
whether considered with reference to the physical comfort 
of the people, or a high state of public and private 
morals, elevated sense of honor, and of all generous 
emotions, I have no reason to believe that a higher state 
of civilization either now exists elsewhere, or has existed at 
any time in the past, than is presented by the Southern 
States of the Union." The Missouri Compromise, the 
constantly growing tariff, the Wilmot Proviso, and the 
kindred measures were enumerated as acts of Northern 
aggression. Secession he discussed as a near possibility 
and he declared ' 'calmly to Northern gentlemen that they 
had better make up their minds to give us at once a fair 
settlement; not cheat us by a mere empty form, without 
reality, but give something substantial for the South.' ' 
What he wanted was a compromise line at 40° north 
latitude, with California left to the North, although he 
said he would be willing to accept the Missouri line for 
that purpose. The region south of this line was to be left 
open for a time to all classes and then the inhabitants 
were to decide its relation to slavery. This he thought a 
air compromise. The North would find the South patient 
under wrongs. But let her beware. "We do not love 
you, people of the North," he exclaimed," well enough 
to become your slaves. God has given us the power and 
the will to resist. Our fathers acquired our liberty by the 
sword, and with it, at every hazard, we will maintain it. 
But before resorting to that instrument, I hold that all 

Historical Papers. 59 

Constitutional means should be exhausted. . . . Sooner 
than submit to what they [the abolition press] propose, I 
would rather see the South, like Poland, under the iron 
heel of the conqueror." 

As a practical means of resisting the North he suggested 
to his friends to make dilatory motions and thus obstruct 
all business even to the loss of the appropriation bills. 
This plan was at that time a surprise to the country. It 
was resorted to for temporary purposes and became known 
as the "Clingman process. " Mr. Clay asked the author 
where he got the idea. He answered that it came to him 
one night between midnight and day as he lay thinking 
on the distressed condition of the country. "Well, said 
Mr. Clay indignantly, "it is just such an idea as I suppose 
a man would get between midnight and day." ''Neither 
Mr. Clay nor Mr. Webster liked the speech ; but Mr. Clay 
was tactful enough to keep on good social terms with the 
speaker. Mr. Webster was more abrupt and the winter 
had not passed ere he had told Mr. Clingman plainly that 
he could not maintain social relations with him, a position 
which the great man soon regretted and which he took 
steps to reverse. Yet all that the two great leaders could 
do did not keep the representative from the North Caro- 
lina mountains in the Whig fold. He was slowly setting 
his face towards the Democrats. He opposed the compro- 
mise of 1850, but voted for the Fugitive Slave Law. He 
considered that the measures yielded nothing to the South 
since the Constitution itself guaranteed the return of fugi- 
tive slaves. 

His final break with Whiggerj'came as follows : In April, 
1852, a number of Whig leaders in Washington held a 
caucus to consider the advisability of calling a national 
convention to nominate a candidate for the presidency. 
Mr. Clingman favored Mr. Webster for President, because 
he was conservative. There was a strong tendency to put 
up General Scott on a platform endorsing the compromises 

60 Thomas L. Clingmam. 

of 1850. This would make him acceptable to the North. 
Against this scheme Mr. Clingman and a few other Southern 
Whigs were united. The caucus was plainly against him. 
He announced that he could not pledge himself to sup- 
port the nominee of the proposed convention. He had 
prepared a resolution demanding that the convention 
should favor a faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave 
Law. When he saw that the caucus would not do this he 
and his friends walked out of it, and from that time he 
ceased to be a Whig. In due time General Scott was 
nominated on a Southern platform. In his letter of 
acceptance he managed not to endorse the platform. 
Thus it was thought he would please both sections. The 
result showed otherwise. He carried only two Northern, 
and two Southern States. Mr. Clingman supported Mr. 
Pierce, but was himself re-elected in his impregnable 
mountain district. This district had been carried by 
President Taylor in 1848 by a majority of three to one. 
It was decidedly a Whig district. It was a great evidence 
of the confidence of his people in that they re-elected him 
in 1852 when he was supporting a Democrat for President. 
In the present day of party machinery such a thing would 
be impossible. 

Mr. Clingman's next important action was in regard to 
the Kansas-Nebraska Act. By this measure Mr. Douglas 
tried to open to possible slave colonization territory made 
free by the Missouri Compromise. At first Mr. Clingman 
opposed this measure on the grounds of expediency, 
although he thought it well founded in theory. He 
thought it would alienate Northern friends of the South. 
On the other hand he considered that since the compro- 
mise of 1850 had declared for non-intervention, non-inter- 
vention it should be everywhere. The Democrats blindly 
decided to go ahead. They pushed through a bill which 
the simplest of them must have known would be regarded 
in the North as a breach of faith. Our North Carolinian 

Historical Papers. 61 

did not hesitate for a long. time. He supported the bill in 
a fervid speech and gave it his vote. Later on he said in a 
letter to some of his political friends : "I declare to yon, 

gentlemen, that after a congressional service of nearly ten 
years, I would rather that every vote of mine on all other 
questions should be obliterated from the journals than be 
deprived of my participation in that one act." 

From that time Mr. Clingman was hardly so prominent as 
formerly. As a Southern Whig he had attracted attention. 
As a Democrat he was swallowed up in large numbers. 
Yet he did his duty faithfully. He opposed the higher 
tariff, he favored low expenditures, he advocated Ameri- 
can intervention in the Crimean War; he wanted the 
United States to bring on a war with England, or Spain, or 
France, if possible ; so as to overwhelm slavery in the 
public mind. He favored the Ostend Manifesto and made a 
speech in its support, and he was bitterly hostile to Eng- 
land and demanded the repeal of the Bulwer-Clayton 
treaty. His speech to this effect was his last in the House. 
Shortly after it was made, he was appointed, in May 1858, 
to the seat in the Senate vacant by the resignation of Mr. 
Biggs. At the expiration of this term he was elected to 
the same seat and sworn in at the special session on March 
5, 1861. A few weeks later he resigned to follow his 
State into secession. 

In the Senate his career was satisfactory to his friends. 
He at once became a leader on the Southern side. Although 
he continued to profess his love for the Union no man 
insisted more strenuously on the rights of the South. The 
John Brown Raid was a severe blow to him. and on Jan- 
uary 16, 1860, he gave vent to his feelings in a "Speech 
Against the Revolutionary Movement of the Anti-Slavery 
Party,'' a speech which was thought by some to have been 
his greatest effort. Those who are acquainted with his 
intense style of oratory may be somewhat disaj3pointed to 
find this speech full of calm and rather plaintive feeling. 

62 Thomas L. Clingman. 

It is as if he were convinced of the hopelessness of his 
cause and were only bent on making a protest for the sake 
of posterity against a wrong the consummation of which 
was already fixed by destiny. He still thought the matter 
could be settled without disunion, but said clearly that 
the Southern people were prepared to resort to that if nec- 
essary. At this time Mr. Clingrnan declares that he knew 
nothing of the plan of Messrs. Slidell and Jefferson Davis 
to divide the Democratic party, apian which, he said, "so 
much surpassed in its insanity and wickedness all similar 
events in the history of humanity that no one can fairly 
be blamed for not anticipating it." Of course he 
resisted such a plan. When Mr. Davis, as a means of 
developing this sentiment in the minds of Southern Con- 
gressmen, introduced a resolution delining the power of 
Congress in the territories, he made a speech against the 
resolution. All his efforts were unsuccessful. The party 
convention saw the consummation of the Davis scheme. 
After the conventions were adjourned he retired from 
active politics. He could not stay long in retirement. 
He was called out by a sentiment in a speech of Mr. 
Douglas, at Norfolk, Va., in which that gentleman 
endorsed coercion of the South. This sentiment was 
repeated in Raleigh. Mr. Clingrnan then decided to sup- 
port Mr. Breckeuridge. He made several speeches in the 
campaign and in them advocated resistance in case Mr. 
Lincoln should be elected. 

It was in keeping with the above sentiment that on 
March 6, 1861, he made some remarks on the motion to 
print President Lincoln's inaugural. The latter had said 
that he would recognize no "resolves or ordinances" to the 
purpose of secession. Mr. Clingrnan took his cue from 
this idea. He declared in all the fervor of his best days : 
"I say the practical question is now upon us; shall we 
have these forts taken ; shall we have a collision : shall 
there be an attempt to collect a revenue in the seceding 

Historical Papers. 



States? It will not do to ask the country to wait two, or 
three, or more years, as the Senator from New York siig- 
saggests, to obtain constitutional amendments. If Mr. 
Lincoln intends to use the power in his hands, as he states 
in his inaugural, we must have war." As day after day 
passed and the President gave no further definite assurance 
of his policy, this conviction settled in Mr. Clingman's 
mind. On March 19, he again addressed the Senate. He 
said that if the policy of the President was to be peace 
why had he not given the country assurance of it? The 
failure to do so he could but believe meant that a policy 
of force was determined on. The waiting he foresaw was 
to give time to collect the scattered army and fleet. Later 
in life he was convinced that the administration had not 
at that time decided on war. The cause of the change he 
thought partly to have been the action of Virginia in 
refusing to secede. This convinced Mr. Lincoln that if 
war should come it would be with the cotton States alone 
and these could be easily overcome. But peace was not to 
be. IS~orth Carolina seceded when called on to light the 
Confederacy, and Mr. Clingman resigned his seat in the 
Senate. He passed out of civil service to the field of 
military activity and became in the war that followed one 
of the most efficient brigadier-generals in the Confederate 

64 De Graffenreid. 


Although Eastern North Carolina was one of the first 
regions in America to be discovered, and its advantages of 
soil and climate were early known, yet, on account of the 
disheartening failures of the early attempts, it was late in 
being colonized, especially by settlers direct from the old 
countries. But the Virginia settlers knew of the region 
and many of them commenced to work their way south- 
ward toward it. Among these we find De Richebourg, a 
French Huguenot, who had originally been with a colony 
of Huguenots on the upper James, but who, growing dis- 
satisfied, moved in 1707 with a part of the colony to a 
place on the Trent River about two miles above the present 
situation of New Bern. Many other Virginia settlers, 
some of them bad characters, moved down and settled in 
the country about Xeuse River. But New Bern was not 
to be founded by these. 

About this time Christopher De Graffenreid, a gentleman 
of Berne, Switzerland, who had met financial reverses, left 
his country with the determination to seek his fortunes in 
America. He went to London and there met Louis 
Mitchell, a Swiss adventurer like himself. Mitchell had 
been appointed by the Canton of Berne to find out a tract 
of land in America suitable for Swiss settlement and he 
had been in the Carolinas for several years exploring. 
Switzerland, at this time, was overcrowded with persecuted 
Protestants, and was seeking to relieve herself bv coloniz- 
ing some of them in America. 

De Graffenreid and Mitchell seem to have been kindred 
spirits, so they joined hands and made proposals to the 
Lords Proprietors of Carolina for a tract of land on which 
to settle these Swiss colonists. In 1707 they contracted 
with the Lords Proprietors for 10,000 acres on or between the 
Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers and their brandies. They were 


Historical Papers. 65 

to pay to the Lords Proprietors for this land 10 pounds per 
thousand acres purchase money and five shillings yearly 
as quit-rent. Also they were to have the option for twelve 
years on 100,000 at the same rate, and De Graff en - 
reid was to be made a Landgrave of Carolina. 

About this same time there was a serious problem con- 
fronting Queen Anne and the British government in the 
! question of the disposal of the great numbers of Protestant 

refugees from the Palatinate, a province in Germany, who 
w T ere crowding by the thousands into London. These 
4 'poor Palatines,' ; as they were then called, had been 
driven from their homes by the Catholic persecution arising 
from the War of the Spanish Succession and were forced to 

!seek refuge in foreign countries. Great sympathy was 
felt for them in England, and Queen Anne, in 1708 offered 
them protection in England, and about 20.000 of them came 
Iover. But they were a great burden, for they had to be 
supported by the Queen, which cost a great deal, and, 
besides, created discontent among the Euglish poor. So 
Queen Anne was looking for some wav to get them awav 
and still do her duty by them. 

De Graffenreid was a favorite with her and when she 
heard of his colonization scheme in Carolina, she concluded 
it would be a good opportunity to get rid of some of the 
Palatines; so she made an offer to De Graffenreid for him 
to take 650 of these with him to Carolina as colonists. 
The offer was gladly accepted, as the advantages were 
mutual. De Graffenreid and Mitchell wanted colonists, as 
it would increase the value of their land, and besides. Queen 
Anne offered to give each Palatine 20 shillings in cash and 
pay De Graffenreid and Mitchell 5 pounds and 10 shillings 
for each Palatine, to cover the cost of transportation etc. 
A formal contract was drawn up between De Graffenreid 
and Mitchell on one hand and the commissioners appointed 
by the Queen on the other. For 5 pounds 10 shillings a 
head, 650 of the Palatines, about 92 families, were to be 


66 De Graffenreid. 

transported to Carolina, and each family was to be given a 
title to 250 acres of land, and enough provisions, tools and 
stock to enable them to run a year. For five years the 
Palatines were to pay no rent, but after that they were to 
pay 2 pence per year an acre quit-rent. After this, as a 
sign of hei good favor, the Queen made De Graffenreid a 
Baron of England and Landgrave of Carolina. The Lords 
Proprietors also, as an extra inducement offered to give 
orders to their Receiver-General in Carolina to supply the 
Palatines, until they got a good start, with what provisions 
he could spare. 

The Palatines sailed for America in January, 1710, with 
three directors appointed by De Graffenreid over them, 
for he himself, had to stay in London to see about his 
Swiss colonists. They had a terrible voyage over, being 
driven violently by storms and having one of their vessels 
plundered by a French privateer. They landed in Virginia 
not daring to goto Carolina by sea on account of privateers 
and the bars at the inlets. From Virginia they went over- 
land and by the sound to the county of Bath, as it was 
then called, and were located in May or June 1710, by 
John Lawson, the Surveyor-General of the province, on a 
tongue of land, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent 
Rivers, then called Chattawka, the present situation of 
New Bern. 

Ill luck seems to have always been attendant on these poor 
Palatines. On the trip over, about one-half of their number 
had succumbed to the hardships of the voyage and died. 
Now they were located in a rough wilderness with hardly any 
tools and provisions and insufficient money. They were 
forced to sell a good part of the movables they did have to 
the neighboring people, in order to get along until De Graf- 
fenreid should come with the Swiss. When De Graffenreid 
and Mitchell did come in December, after a good voyage 
over, they found, as De Graffenreid has told us, "a sad 
state of things, sickness, want and desperation having 
reached their climax. ' ' 


Historical Papers. 67 

It is hard to find out exactly how many Swiss colonists 
there were, some accounts .say 1,500, but as De Graff enreid 
mentions only one ship load, there could hardly have been 
that many. 

De Graffenreid also found the affairs of the province in a 
bad way. The Governor was dead and Colonel Cary, the 
Lieutenant-Governor would not recognizeMr. Hyde, the Gov- 
ernor newly appointed by the Lords Proprietors. De Graf- 
fenreid threw his influence on the side of Mr. Hyde, which 
so incensed Colonel Cary that he would not recognize De 
Graffenried's patents and orders, and would not give him 
the help which the Lords Proprietors had promised and on 
which De Graffenreid said the life of the colony depended. 
Thus De Graffenreid was forced to go into debt to support 
the colony. Soon Colonel Cary and his adherents broke 
out in open rebellion against Mr. Hyde, and for a good 
while the province was in a tumult. At length, through 
the aid of the Governor of Virginia, the rebellion was put 

All this had its evil effects on the little colony at Chat- 
tawka point. It made provisions high, and by it the 
colony was unable to get the promised help from the Lords 
Proprietors. However, the arrival of the Swiss put 
new life into the Palatines, and they both set to work 
to put things on a firm basis. A town was laid out at 
Chattawka point and called New Bern, after De Graffen- 
reid' s old home in Berne, Switzerland. The land was 
apportioned, cabins built, provisions provided and every- 
thing done to insure success. 

But now when the colony seemed to be prospering, a 
"storm of misfortune," as De Graffenreid has put it, 
"rushed upon them in the shape of the Indians." De 
Graffenreid accuses Colonel Cary of being the instigator of 
this outbreak through revenge and jealousy. 

In September, 1711, just before the outbreak and sus- 
pecting nothing, De Graffenreid started on an exploring 

68 De Graffenreid. 

expedition up Neuse river with Surveyor General Lawson. 
When a few miles up the river they were both seized by 
the Indians and made prisoners. They were brought before 
the Indian council, which, after much deliberation, con- 
demned them to death. De Graffenreid, in a letter to 
Gov. Hyde, describes in very vivid terms the horrible 
evening and night he and Lawson passed, in constant fear 
of death. The Indians stripped them of their clothes and 
bound them to a tree. Then they built a great lire in front 
of them and had a big medicine dance around it. All of 
them were painted, and dressed in the most horrible and 
fantastical manner. Every once in a wdiiie the chief con- 
jurer, who, De Graffenreid said, looked like "the devil 
among his imps.'' would dance out in front of them, and 
with horrible motions threaten them with the most terrible 
deaths. However. De Graffenreid, through the interces- 
sion of a friendly Indian, succeeded in getting a respite. 
Tradition says he effected this by telling the Indians he 
was a king, and proving it by showing the golden star, 
which Queen Anne had given him when she made him a 
Balm. De Graffenreid was retained as a prisoner but Law- 
son was executed ; the exact manner of his execution is 
unknown, but it is said the Indians stuck his body full of 
lightwood splinters, like hog-bristles, and set them on fire, 
and so gradually roasted him. 

This was but the beginning of a great Indian outbreak. 
The Tuscuroras, with all the Indians of that region, simul- 
taneously attached all the colonists along the Pamlico and 
Neuse rivers, plundering and slaying them. Of the Pala- 
tines and Swiss there were sixty or seventy slain and a 
good many taken prisoners, and the rest forced to congre- 
gate in a palisaded place, where they were nearly starved. 
All this time De Graffenreid was a prisoner among the In- 
dians, but lie finally effected his release by making a 
treaty with them. In this ; he pledged that his Swiss and 
Palatines would remain neutral in the war between the 

Historical Papers. 69 


Indians and the Carolinians. lie also agreed not to take 

up any land without the consent of the Tuscurora king. 
In return for this his colony was not to be molested. All 
of the Swiss and Palatines were to put a big letter N on 
their houses. This stood for Nettee, and was to be a sign 
that that house belonged to De Graffenreid\s people, and 
was not to be molested. For a little while this treaty was 
kept, and the Indians didn't bother the New Bern colony, 
although they were waging a terrible warfare on all the 
other whites. But there were some among the Swiss and 
Palatines who didn't like to remain neutral, while the 
other people of the province were so hard set, so they 
broke the truce and attacked the Indians. The Indians 
then turned on them and came near destroying the colony. 
The whole province of Carolina was now in great danger, 
for the Indians, headed by the Tnscarora tribe, were mak- 
ing great headway. They had driven all the people into 
strong-holds, had plundered their farms and captured and 
killed a good part of them. Help was solicited from Vir- 
ginia, but it didn't come, and then a delegation was sent 
to South Carolina for the same jmrpose. The Governor of 
South Carolina sent Col. Barnwell with a small force of 
whites and a band of eight hundred auxiliary Indians, 
which succeeded in subduing the Tuscuroras for a while, 
but after the South Carolina force left, the war broke out 
anew. South Carolina was again solicited, and she re- 
sponded with a force, which, with the Carolinians, effect- 
ually put down the Indians. 

But the w T ar had lasted over a year now, and the colony 
at New Bern was in a shattered condition. A good many 
of them had been killed and a good part of the rest had 
deserted and were scattered all around the county. They 
came back to find most of their houses burned and their 
* cattle and tools destroyed and themselves without provis- 

ions. De Graffenreid went to Virginia to see if he could 
get any aid, and he did succeed in getting two boat-loads 

70 Be Graffenreid. 

of supplies, but of these one vvas burned up before it got 
to New Bern, and the other ran aground and most of the 
contents were lost. 

De Graffenreid now determined to try his last chance, 
which lay in finding a gold mine. One of the chief things 
which induced him to come to America had been that will- 
o'-the-wisp which attracted so many of the early settlers, 
the hope of gold. In the Minutes of the Lords Proprietor's 
meetings we find a contract by which De Graffenreid and 
Mitchell were to have a lease of all mines and minerals in 
the province. Up to this time De Graffenreid hadn't had 
time to do anything along this line, but now he made an 
extensive tour into the mountains, looking for silver and 
gold. But although he searched faithfully he was unable 
to rind any signs of either, and he returned as far as Vir- 
ginia, completely disheartened. The blow about the mines 
was a great one. for he had been so sure of success that he 
had induced a number of skilled German miners to come 
over, and now these were left stranded without work. 

He despaired of success now ; his colony was without 
supplies, he was unable to get any, having run heavily in 
debt already ; his bills of exchange would not be accepted, 
and he was threatened every day with a debtor's prison. 
He tried as a last straw to get a rich pardner, and when 
this failed he sold out his interest in the colony to Col. 
Pollock, a prominent man in the province, and then went 
back to Berne, Switzerland, in disgust. 

Deserted by their leaders, the colonists were now in a 
terrible condition, and many of them left for South Caro- 
lina. But some few remained, and by hard work grad- 
ually put themselves on a firm basis. The natural advan- 
tage which the location of IS r ew Bern had as a trading 
centre soon told ; the people from the surrounding country 
commenced to locate in it, and in not so very many years 
it was considered the largest town in the province. 

Historical Papers. 71 


De Graffenreid, in the manuscript in which he describes 
his adventures, divides the whole into a series of mishaps 
and cross-accidents, and this truly seems to be the history 
of the venture. 

De Graffenreid accuses Col. Cary of being the chief cause 
of all his trouble, for besides instigating the Indian upris- 
ing, he accuses him of fraudulently taking money from the 
Palatines in payment for land to which he could give no 
title, and this evidently was true, for the General Assem- 
bly, in 1711 , passed an Act to force Col. Cary to restore 
the money thus taken. De Graffenreid also lays a great 
deal of the blame on the colonists themselves, accusing 
them of being worthless and wicked. 

The fact is, De Graffenreid, in his account, hurls accu- 
sations of cowardice, incapacity and rascality around so 
generally that the truth is hard to get at. One begins to 
think that among all this rascality and incompetence, he 
himself was not untouched, and that this might have had 
something to do with the failure. He at least didn't deal 
fairly with the Palatines, for he left without giving them 
the deeds to the land which they occupied, and which was 
one of the stipulations they made with him in coming 
over. In 1714 we iind them petitioning the Assembly, 
trying to secure titles to their land. 

On the whole, De Graffenreid seems to have been a mere 
adventurer, out for his own interests, and so he naturally 
deserted the colony when he saw it had failed as a money 
making project. 

Amid all this, one cannot but feel in sympathy with the 
"poor Palatines ;" they had left their country to escape 
persecution, and came to America only to be cheated and 
mislead on all sides, and finally, after a good part of them 
had been slain by the Indians, the rest were left in a 
strange country to shift for themselves. 

72 Nathaniel Macon. 


The day of myths and myth makers does not end with 
the fantastic creations of primaeval people. The critic of 
legendary lore, worn by the study of imperfect records and 
the analyzation of mental tendencies, may often find a more 
satisfactory solution to his problem in the humanity 
around him. Human nature, despite evolution in govern- 
ment and society, has many qualities that are permanent, 
and none is more prominent than the idealization of its 
heroes. Mr. McMaster has well said, "George Washing- 
ton is an unknown man.'- A credulous public has been 
deceived for years by the curious inventions of Parson 
Weems and only within the past few years have Ameri- 
cans begun to write and read of the humanity and real 
citizenship of the father of their country. 

The same is in some degree true of Nathaniel Macon. 
Those who have attempted to write the history of North 
Carolina in his generation have so admired the eccentric- 
ities of his character that they have consumed time and 
print in worthless eulogies so far as statesmanship and 
services to his people are concerned. His public life 
includes some of the most important and crucial years of 
our national history; and the intention of this discussion 
is to state his relations to the more vital questions of his 

Mr. Macon was elected a member of the Second Congress, 
which convened in 1791. He was then thirty-two years 
old and a staunch supporter of the Anti-Federalist party. 
He had served in the State Legislature, had voted against 
the adoption of the Constitution because it gave the new 
Government too many powers, and, true to his native sense 
of loyalty and Jeffersonian simplicity, had refused any 
remuneration for his services in the Revolution. The 
same self-sacrifice he expected of others, for in Congress he 
opposed the bill promising a grant of land to Count De 

Histokical Papeks. 73 

Grasse, remuneration of General Greene for personal Losses 
in the war and one making provision lor LaFayette when he 
visited America in 1828, and when the pension system was 
established, he was one of its most stubborn opponents. 

Xorth Carolina was then more prominent in the Union 
than at any time since, save the months just preceeding 
secession. She was next to last state to ratify the Consti- 
tution and her population ranked her one of the largest in 
the new federation. It was therefore not only an honor to 
the individual but a recognition of the State's imperium, 
that Macon was appointed a member of a committee to 
report on the resolution making the basis of representa- 
tion in Congress one for every thirty thousand. 

Mr. Macon wished that the bill read thirty-five instead 
of thirty, another thirty-four, others thirty-three thousand. 
It is not necessary to describe the prolonged debates on the 
various amendments. Long before the question was finally 
settled, Macon and his colleagues were relieved of their 
duties. The question of representation was too intricate 
for the plain and honest gentleman of North Carolina. 

Mr. Macon was one of the most uncompromising Anti- 
Federalists. With Gallatin and the leaders of the party, 
he fought the United States Bank, the navy, the Jay 
Treaty and those measures of the administration which 
tended to increase the authority of the central government. 
In April, 1796, Wolcott wrote to Hamilton, that "unless 
a radical change of opinion can be effected in the Southern 
States, the existing establishments will not last eighteen 
months. M Congress defeated the motion to adjourn on 
tile President's birthday which had been customary. In 
the second session of the Fourth Congress the reply to the 
Executive's message, reported by Ames, was warmly 
debated. It contained a passage complimentary to Wash- 
ington and expressed regret at his approaching retirement. 
This was especially noxious to the Anti-Federalists. Giles 

1. Stevens' Gallatin, P. 131 f 


74 Nathaniel Macon. 

"wished him to retire, . . . that the government could do 
only well without him, and that he would enjoy more 
happiness in his retirement than he possibly could in his 
present situation." Finally the reply, including the sec- 
tion mentioned, was adopted with twelve dissenting votes. 
Among these were Macon and another son of North Caro- 
lina, Andrew Jackson, who has been described as a "tall, 
lank, uncouth looking individual with long locks of hair 
hanging over his brows and face, while a queue hung down 
his back tied with an eelskin. The dress of this individual 
was singular, his manners and deportment that of a back- 

There is no phase of our early national life more attrac- 
tive than the growth and decline of French influence and 
those measures of Congress, foreign and domestic, arising 
therefrom. It is improbable that Macon was influenced 
by French philosophy, for though never a church member 
his favorite literature was the Bible, and his austere and pure 
character is an argument stronger than words that he never 
imbibed the dregs of the skeptical Illuminati. Yet he was 
an admirer of Jefferson and when the Federalists proposed 
bills that would restrict citizenship he supported his party's 
policy of liberty in opinion and action for the individual. 
In 1798, he spoke against the resolutions prolonging the 
term of residence for naturalization on the grounds that 
"if persons have given notice of their intention to become 
citizens, they have complied in part with the laws ; and he 
did not think it would be right to put it out of their power 
to comply with the other part." The next day the Alien 
Law was proposed and Macon promptly objected to the 
"extraordinary power" given the President. In July he 
voted against the abrogation of the French treaty, tho' 
the indignation over the X. Y. Z. affair was at its 
maximum and war seemed the only method of main- 
Stevens' Gallatin, P. 133 n. 
Annali of Cong. 6th Session. Vol. 1, P. 1779. 

Historical Papers. 7. r ) 

taining the national dignity. In the same month, in 
the debates on the Sedition Bill, Macon opposed the 
measure because, (1) that interference with the press 
and liberty of speech may be extended to religious estab- 
lishments and this is forbidden by the Constitution, (2) 
that it was an infringement of State authority, since pros- 

* ecutions of libels were understood by the State conventions 

to be the duty of the State and not the National Judiciary. 
He quotes Iredell and Wilson, of North Carolina, to sutj- 
port this. (3) The bill shows lack of confidence in the 
States, and mutual confidence is the basis of the Union. 
"This Government depends on the State Legislatures for 
existence. They have only to refuse to elect Senators to 
Congress, and all is gone.'' 1 

Though the act became a law, the arguments of Macon 
are interesting, for they ably express the views of his party 

^ • on the constitution, and properly handled might still be 

valid objections to a censorship of the press, though a 
century has passed and our ideas of Union have greatly 

But Macon was not yet done with the Sedition Law. On 
January 23, 1800, he moved the repeal of the second sec- 
tion of the law, which lined or imprisoned those speaking 
or writing with intent to defame the government or excite 
"illegal combinations." It was expected that the South - 

4 ern Federalists, among them John Marshall, would join 

the Republicans and. they would carry the House for the 
motion. Mr. Bayard, of Delaware, moved the following 
amendment: "And the offences therein specified shall 
remain punishable at common law: Provided, That upon 
any prosecution it shall be lawful for the defendant to give 
in his defence the truth of the matters charged as a libel." 
Macon's resolution was carried by a majority of two, four 

^ Southern Federalists supporting the measure. The amend- 

ment was also carried by a majority of four, the votes of 

1. Ann. Cong. 5 S#sj. Vol. II. P, 2151. 

76 Nathaniel Macon. 

the Federalists. After the voting, however, the Republi- 
cans realized that they had been trapped. The amend- 
ment made libel a felony, when formerly it was simply an 
offence to be punished by line and imprisonment. Also it 
tended to give the Supreme Court, Federalist in its per- 
sonnel, that jurisdiction over the common law which the 
strict constructionists so dreaded. After some discussion, 
a vote was taken on the resolution and amendment as a 
whole, the count standing 87 nays to 11 yeas. J The Sedi- 
tion law was left to pass out of existence by its own 

No year of Mr. Macon's public life was more important 
than the year 1800, for then appeared in Congress his politi- 
cal mentor and friend, the dashing, brilliant, but erratic 
John Randolph. That these two men should have drifted to- 
gether and maintained intimate relations in private as well 
as public life, is one of those strange anomalies which we 
pretend to explain by the law of attractions between 
opposites, for there is no common quality in the two men, 
except their eccentricities. Macon was a "typical repre- 
sentative of the honest but scarcely brilliant or interesting 
democracy of his native State;" simple-minded, ignorant 
of the ways of the world, and pure as a Roman Cincin- 
nati. "Jack Randle," as he was known, was a "Vir- 
ginian Brutus, with eyes that pierced and voice that rang 
like the vibration of glass, and with the pride of twenty 
kings to back his more than Roman virtue." 2 There were 
few men who were not attracted by him, and those who 
were his staunchest friends were high-minded and pure 
Southerners. Macon was bewitched and soon worshipped 
him as an Apollo, seeing in his friend all that he himself 
was not, an astute politician and true man of the world. 
Madison and Gallatin were now in the Cabinet, and these 

1. Randall's Jefferson, Vol. II, P. 532; Ann. Cong., 1799-1301. Pp. 404-423. 
Trent, "Southern Statesmen of the Old Regime," P. 112. 

2. Adams' Randolph, P. 54. 


Historical Papers. 77 

two eccentrics became the House leaders of the ascendant 
Republican party. In 1801 Macon was elected Speaker, 
and the honor was his successively until 1800, when the 
rupture in his party gave the majority to the Northern 
wing. He won this distinction through force of character 
and was soon known as the "Father of the House." But 
let it be remembered that the Speakership at this time 
demanded a moderator rather than a rjarty leader, the 
type introduced by Henry Clay. 

Mr. Jefferson was not chosen President without the 
famous deadlock that compelled a radical change in our 
electoral methods. When the vote on the bill establishing 
our present system was taken, there was one ballot lacking 
to make the required two-thirds majority. Macon, the 
Speaker, claimed his right to cast a ballot as member of 
the House, overruled the opinion that he was limited to 
tie cases, voted for the bill and so fixed the present law. 

The most interesting phases of his Speakership are the 
slavery debates and the formation of party factions. In 
regard to the "dread institution" Macon was a representa- 
tive North Carolinian. The State never knew the exten- 
sive slave system of Virginia on the north or of her sister 
States on the south. The slave-holders were usually small 
farmers who saw their servants daily and were bound to 
them by sympathy as well as by economic interests. It is 
said that Mr. Macon, until sixty years of age, was accus- 
tomed to work in the field with his negroes. His views on 
the slave trade and abolition are therefore valuable in form- 
ing an estimate of the institution in the State. 

Mr. Macon's first utterance on slavery was in 1797, when 
a memorial was introduced in Congress from the yearly 
meeting of Quakers at Philadelphia, complaining "that 
certain persons of the African race, to the number of cne 
hundred and thirty-four, set free by members of the reli- 
gious society of Quakers, besides others whose cases were 
not so particularly known, had been reduced again into 

78 Nathaniel Macon. 

cruel bondage under the authority of an ex post facto law- 
passed for that purpose by the State of North Carolina in 
1777, authorizing the seizure and re-sale as slaves of cer- 
tain emancipated negroes." 1 In the debates following 
Macon declared • 'there was not a man in North Carolina 
who did not wish there were no blacks in the country. 
Negro slavery was a misfortune; he considered it a curse; 
but there was no means of getting rid of it." 1 He then 
accused the Quakers of making unconstitutional petitions 
to Congress, and also of endeavoring to incite slave insur- 
rections in the Southern States. The latter charge was 
untrue and absurd, but it shows that the colonial anti- 
Quaker sentiment was not yet extinct. The petition was 
referred to a committee, who decided that Congress could 
take no action, as the matter involved the judiciary, not 
the legislative, department. 

The negro problem, however, was not allowed to rest. 
The next prolonged discussion was in 1804. The Haytian 
rebellion drove many negroes to America and the Southern 
people were alarmed, fearing slave insurrections. In Jan- 
uary, 1803, Wilmington, N. C, memorialized Congress 
and asked for protection against these black immigrants. 
A law was passed which forfeited the ship and punished 
the captain that brought African negroes into any State 
that prohibited the slave trade. In spite of this law, the 
importation increased and was so popular that South 
Carolina repealed her prohibitory law. Thousands of 
negroes were sold into the new Louisiana territory. The 
Quakers of Pennsylvania remonstrated and Bard, of that 
State, moved that a tax of ten dollars be placed on each 
imported slave. Mr. Macon opposed this motion because, 
if the slave were taxed, the government would be com- 
pelled to protect the slave ships ; and it would be an insult 
to the dignity of South Carolina as a State. 

1. Hildreth's History of U. S., second series, Vol. II, P. ITS. 
3. Ibid, Pp. 179-1S0. 

Historical Papers. 79 

"Gentlemen think that South Carolina has done wrong in permitting the 
importation of slaves. That may be, and still this measure may be wrong. 
Will it not look like an attempt in the general government to correct a 
State for the undisputed exercise of its constitutional power / It appears 
to be something like putting a State to the ban of the empire. "i 

Here, as well remarked by Hildreth, was the germ of the 
argument of Calhoun, for States are not only possessed of 
constitutional powers, but are to be allowed to exercise 
them, even if it be to the detriment of the nation as a 
whole. The debate was so warm that the matter was 
dropped on promises and entreaties of South Carolina. 

In the final debates on the suppression of the slave 
trade, to go into effect in 1808, the question of primary 
importance to be settled was the disposition of illegally 
imported Africans. "The argument of those who insisted 
that the negroes should be sold was tersely put by Macon," 
says DuBois, 2 'in the sentence, "In adopting our measures 
on this subject, we must pass such a law as can be exe- 

) ?5 

If they are made free, what will become of them, alone in a strange 
land, not even knowing our language? Are they to be maintained and 
civilized by the public? In some States, also, "there is a legal provision 
that an owner of a slave may give him his freedom, on going into court 
and giving security that the slave that is liberated shall not be a charge on 
the county. Those persons who deal in this nefarious traffic will never 
carry their cargoes into a port of the Union where there are no slaves. 
They will go to the States where slavery exists, and there smuggle them ; 
and, if we pass this amendment, the situation of these States will be most 

Perhaps I may be under the influence of local 

prejudice, but there is no State in the Union more opposed to the importa- 
tion of slaves than the State which I have the honor to represent. It was 
proposed by her, ten years ago, so to amend the Constitution as to give 
Congress the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves. I believe the 
proposition passed by an unanimous vote. Certain I am, it had my hearty 
approbation. But it seems to me if you give these people their freedom, 
and turn them loose, they must perish, "3 Also, the negroes could not be 
returned to Africa, for it was impossible to know from what tribe they 

1. Ann. Cong., 1605-1306, P. 359; Hildreth, second series, Vol. II, P. 503. 

2. "Suppression of Slave Trade," P. 98. 

3. Ann. Cong. 1806-1S07, P. 171. 

80 Nathaniel Macon. 

came. As to the objection that the government by selling them was 
engaging in the traffic, let it be remembered that when the United States 
has obtained judgment against a slave owner, his slaves are liable to be 
seized and sold and the proceeds go to the treasury. 

This point, however, was also unsettled, and the dis 
posal of the smuggled negro was left to the various States. 1 

In regard to the punishment of slave traders, the South- 
ern members opposed the death penalty and favored 
forfeiture and fine. Mr. Macon did not express his views 
on this point, but his colleague, Mr. Holland, of North 
Carolina, said that, as the South did not regard slave- 
holding as a moral offence, death was too severe a penalty. 
He wished to place the traffic on political and not moral 
grounds, and Mr. Macon was of the same opinion. 

"I still consider this a commercial question. The laws of nations have 
nothing more to do with it than the laws of the Turks or the Hindoos . . . 
If this is not a commercial question, I would thank the gentleman to show 
what part of the Constitution gives us any right to legislate on the subject?" 

Once again in these debates does Macon make a bold 
stroke. Mr. Bid well made an amendment to the forfeiture 
clause : "Provided, That no x^erson shall be sold as a slave 
by virtue of this act." The vote was a tie, GO to 60. 
Macon vetoed it. Finally a Senate bill replaced that of 
the House, and the law instituting forfeiture and imprison- 
ment was at last established. There were many evasions, 
which w r ere always a crumpled rose leaf to the Southern 
members. In 1809, in the debates on embargo and foreign 
intercourse, it was suggested to open trade with Hayti. 
Randolph was terrified, thinking the policy, if adopted, 
would cause slave insurrections. Mr. Livermore, who had 
introduced the idea, replied that there was already an 
illegal trade between Hayti and North Carolina. Mr. 
Macon then arose ; he was more excited than Randolph, 
and declared that war with both France and England was 
preferable to trade with the rebellious West Indian negroes. 

X. Ibid, P. 179, 

Historical Papsbs. 81 

In the meantime there was a break in the Republican 
ranks which culminated in Macon losing the Speakership 

and Randolph's temporary retirement from Congress. 
Randolph's prospects for a long and successful career had 
been flattering. The Speaker, his intimate friend, himself 
chairman of ways and means committee, and friend and 
relative of the President, no man has ever had a better 
opportunity for a long period of national service. But he 
was too overbearing and jealous of his colleagues. In the 
first place, Jefferson and Madison feared the Federalists, 
who yet held the judiciary, and at Jefferson's instigation 
and contrary to the advice of Macon, Randolph impeached 
Judge Chase. He failed, not one of the long list of charges 
receiving the required two-thirds majority. A failure is 
never a guarantee of success. Then t]ie Yazoo frauds 
claimed the attention of the House. Madison and the 
Northern members favored a compromise, but Randolph 
was inexorable. Then Randolph and Macon were extreme 
strict constructionists, and had even denied the right of 
Congress to bridge the Potomac because Virginia and 
Maryland had a right of navigation. The result was that 
by 1805 their fortunes were waning. October 23 Randolph 

J wrote to Nicholson concerning Macon's chances for the 

Speakership in the new Congress : 

"I am now seriously apprehensive for his election; and more on his 
account than from public considerations, although there is not a man in 
the House, himself and one other excepted, who is in any respect qualified 
for the office. I cannot deny that the insult offered to the man would 
move me more than the injury done the public by his rejection. Indeed, I 
am not sure that such a step, although productive of temporary incon- 
venience, would not be followed by permanent good effects. It would open 
the eyes of many well-meaning persons, who, in avoiding the scylla of 

innovation, have plunged into the charybdis of federalism 

Do not fail to be in Washington time enough to counteract the plot against 
the Speaker, and pray apprize such of his friends as are within your reach 
of its existence." 1 

1. Adams' Randolph, P. 156, 


82 Nathaniel Macon. 

After a sharp contest Macon was re-elected, and Ran- 
dolph was once more placed on the ways and means 

Jefferson's term was to expire soon and Madison, in the 
minds of his party, was to be his successor. Randolph 
could not tolerate Madison, and championed the only man 
who could rival him, Monroe. As Jefferson and Madison 
were intimate, he broke with the President, and refused 
to support the two-million appropriation for the purchase 
of Florida, although he had engineered the Louisiana 
purchase. He now fought the administration on every 
issue, and voted steadily with the Federalists. By 1807 
the Northern wing were in the majority, and Yarnum, of 
Massachusetts, was chosen Speaker. "The spell," says 
Mr. Adams, "was now at an end, and Macon, although 
retaining friendly relations with Randolph, hastened at 
this session to draw away from him in politics, and gave 
an almost unqualified support to the administration." 

A relation of Macon's policies on the Sedition Laws and 
the slave trade are necessary only when his entire life is 
considered. That part of his career which has made him a 
national character, which has formed a prominent place in 
our history however briefly it is studied, was his service in 
the period of our foreign affairs just previous to the War 
of 1812. As stated. Macon w T as for several years but the 
shadow of Randolph and the influence of the erratic Vir- 
ginian over him is in no way better illustrated than in the 
debates on foreign intercourse. In 1800, a bill came 
before the House to suspend trade with France. Randolph 
and Macon opposed it, and only through Gallatin's exer- 
tions was it passed. During the debates on non-importa- 
tion of goods from England in 1806, Macon made one of 
his longest addresses to the House, and urged many 
objections to the imposed measure. Among other propo- 
sitions, he gave as his opinion that the solution of our 
difficulties was to abandon the carrying trade and ta 

Historical Papers. 83 

concentrate on the coast trade. Here again his views were 
identical with Randolph's. But by 1808, he had broken 
with Randolph and voted for the act excluding French 
and English vessels from American ports, while Randolph 
opposed retaliation. Yet he opposed appropriations for 
increasing our naval force, although the country was 
drifting nearer war day by day, for he declared that large 
navies never were, and never could be, conducive to com- 
merce. Another example of his provincial simplicity is, 
that when war was more imminent than ever, he wished to 
loan our navy to some foreign power that American sailors 
might be taught European naval tactics. As a means of 
defence, he preferred Jefferson's system of gunboats to 
large frigates. 

But embargo was a failure. The law was unsatisfactory, 
yet repeal meant to yield to France and England. In the 
spring of 1810, the "American Navigation Act" was sub- 
stituted. This is often called "Macon Bill No. V because 
introduced by Macon, though the real anthor was Gallatin, 
then cabinet officer. 

It excluded French and English vessels from our harbor 
but allowed American vessels to leave port, and confined 
all importations from France and England to ships direct 
from those countries. Schouler says, "Had such an exper- 
iment as this been undertaken in place of embargo two 
years earlier, most probably it would have forced England 
to terms, or else provoked her to such outrageous retal- 
iation that the American people would have sprung to 
their feet and fought with zeal. ' ' 

The Bill passed the House but was lost in the Senate. 
Its defeat was due to the fact that the Anti- Gallatin faction 
was in the majority. Macon and his committee, however, 
soon reported a new bill, known as Macon's No. 2. Non 
intercourse was to expire with the session. Resistance to 
the decrees of England and Napoleon was abandoned, and, 
as if to put American influence out for competition, if one 


84 Nathaniel Macon. 

of these powers would repeal its obnoxious laws, the 
United States would revive non-importation against the 
other. The effect was disasterous. Napoleon, through an 
agent, wrote to Armstrong, our minister, that he "loved 
the Americans" and would revoke his Milan and Berlin 
decrees if England would withdraw the Orders in Council. 
Madison then declared trade with England suspended, 
American vessels, trusting to the good faith of the Emperor, 
flocked to French ports but in December, 1810, by Napo- 
leon's orders they were seized, and property to the value 
of ten million dollars was confiscated. Macon wrote to a 
friend that Taylor, of South Carolina, was the author of 
the bill, but Smith of Maryland said it was drawn up by 
the secret contrivance of Madison. 1 One thing is certain : 
the law was a terrible blunder and has left an ineffacable 
blur on our diplomatic history. 

Mr. Macon opposed the war party until the Leopard- 
Chesapeake affair, when he declared that America had done 
all she could to prevent hostilities and now the National 
honor demanded armed resistance. Yet he wished the 
war to be defensive, not offensive ; and for this reason he 
did not believe in increasing the navy. No one, he said, 
expected the war to be a naval one and every cent expended 
in the repair of ships was useless. The army, he insisted, 
should be organized on the old Revolutionary plan instead 
of the new system proposed. 

These are the principle questions in which he was in- 
volved as Representative in Congress. There were many 
minor issues that felt liij influence which cannot be men- 
tioned. There was one bill introduced by him which, though 
defeated, has yet greatly affected American ideas. It 
provided that any citizen of the United States accepting 
title or gift from foreign powers without the consent of 
Congress, should cease to be a citizen and be incapable of 

History of United States. Vol. II, 299. 
1. Schouler, Vol. IL P. 196 n. 


Historical Papers. 8$ 

holding office. The amendment passed the Honse but was 
lost in the Senate. It was an able expression of that 
unpopularity which foreign family alliances have always 
received in this country. Mr. Macon also introduced an 
amendment which forbade any Congressman to hold civil 
office while National Representative. Tho' never incorpo- 
rated in the Constitution as an amendment, this require- 
ment was established by Congress as a regulation for its 

In 1815 Mr. Macon passed into the Senate. Tho' hi* 
long service to the lower House made him one of the 
leading men of the day, his Senatorial career is of lit- 
tle interest. Perhaps this is because the destiny of the 
Nation was forever decided, in many respects, by the 
close of the War of 1812 : Federalism was dead, the early 
Republican platforms had radically changed, the broad 
construction theory was dominant, and Macon could well 
say in 1824, that not a principle of his party was identical 
with those of the earliest da} r s of Xational history. 

As Senator, Mr. Macon voted against the first and second 
Missouri Compromises, opposed Internal Improvements, 
and, though he thought a National Bank would be 
expedient, he did not believe the Government had the 
authority to establish such an institution and therefore 
voted against its charter. It would be profitable and 
interesting to study his constitutional theories, but so few 
J of his papers have been preserved and his speeches were 

so brief, that this is impossible. A letter of 1833 to S. P. 
Carson is a nucleus from which to draw general conclu- 
sions concerning his views on tariff and nullification. 

"There can be no doubt that the United States are in a deplorable situa- 
tion, . . . My opinion has never been a secret, and I have always stated 
it to those who wanted to know it. In the year 182-4 the constitution waa 

(buried. The Senators who were then present will, it is believed, recollect the 
fact, and it was never afterward questioned by me while I continued in tb« 
Senate. ... I never believed that a State could nullify and remain in 
the Union, but always believed that a State could secede ichenshe pleated, 
provided she would pay her portion of the public debt. 

86 Nathaniel Macon. 

"This right I have considered the best guard to the public liberty and the 
public justice that could be desired and it ought to have prevented what is 
now felt in the United States — oppression, 

"A government of opinion, established by sovereign States, cannot be 
maintained by forse. The use of force makes enemies and enemies cannot 
live in peace." 

Mr. Macon was chairman of the Senate Committee on the 
Panama Congress. The committee's report was lengthy 
and against the United States, participation in the scheme. 
It was drawn up by Tazwell of Virginia and was defeated. 
Macon also cast a solitary vote against appropriations for 
Lafayette's reception on his visit to America — likewise he 
fought the appropriation asked by the Columbian College 
of Washington. He was economical even to parsimony, 
and to the last was jealous for the rights of the individual 

In 1824 he received the electoral vote of Virginia for 
Vice-President and from 1825 to 1827 was President, pro 
tern. , of the Senate. In 1828 he resigned and returned to 
private life, having reached the Psalmist's limit of years. 
The public knew him again in 1835, when he presided over 
the State Convention which reformed suffrage, and once 
more in 1837 he was elector on the Van Buren ticket. 

No study of Macon's public life would be complete with- 
out mention of those friendships whose traditions cast upon 
them the halo of the Platonic. His admiration of Randolph 
is proverbial in our political folk-lore. Mr. Adams, in his 
Randolph in the " Statesmen Series." infers that this affili- 
ation was one-sided, that Eandolph used the enchanted 
Macon as a tool to project his ambitions. Facts do not 
corroborate this view. Macon had an influence over his 
mentor that no other Congressman had. On May 24, 
1812, Randolph made an anti helium speech when there 
was no motion before the House. He was called to order 
by a member, but was sustained by the Speaker. Finally, 
after repeated interruptions and as many times sustained, 
the breach of parliamentary law was too evident, and Ran- 


Historical Papers. 87 

dolph was requested by the Speaker to produce a motion 
in written form. Angry words resulted, and there might 
have been another duel added to the long list of those 
days, but Macon interferred, soothed the temper of the 
angered Randolph, and nothing serious resulted. For this 
and other reasons the Virginian might well say: "If wis- 
dom consisted in properly exercising our judgment upon 
the value of things desirable, Mr. Macon was certainly the 
wisest man I ever saw. In 1808 they separated in politics. 
There was doubtless an estrangement in social relations. 
From 1813, when Randolph failed to return to Congress, 
we know the old warmth of feeling waned. In 1815 Macon 
wrote to Nicholson that he had not heard from Randolph 
since the latters retirement from public life, and that he 
could not account for the cold reception given Nicholson by 
Randolph recently in Baltimore. 1 Some time later amicable 
intercourse was re-established; for in 1826, Randolph, 
again in public life, wrote that his old friend Macon 
reminded him daily of "the old Major who verity believed 
that I was a none-such of living men." In his will 
Randolph bequeathed to Macon, "My oldest high silver 
candlestick, my silver punch ladle with whalebone 
handle, a pair of silver cases with handles and my crest 
engraved thereon, my hard metal dishes that have my 
crest J. R. in old English letters ; also the plates of the 
same engraving, the choice of four of mv best voims: mares 
and geldings, and the gold watch by Raskell . . . May 
blessings attend him, the best and purest and wisest man 
that I ever knew. ' ' 

Macon was also an intimate friend of Benton. "Mr. Ma- 
con," he says in his "Thirty Year's View," "was the real 
Cincinnatus of America, the pride and ornament of my 
native State, my hereditary friend through four genera- 
tions, my mentor in the first seven years of my senatorial 
and last seven of his senatorial life." "He spoke more 

1. Ad&mi' "KandoIpV P. 202. 

88 Nathaniel Macon. 

good sense while getting in his chair and getting out of it 
than many delivered in long and elaborate speeches.' 7 
Madison, Monroe and Jefferson were strong in Macon's affec- 
tions. One of the last and perhaps most pathetic of Jeffer- 
son's letters was directed to Macon. There is nothing in 
American biography more touching than these paragraphs 
from the old chieftain, alone and retired at Monticello, to 
his younger partisan, still strong and able for the battle. 
"I read no newspaper now but Ritchies," he says, "and 
in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the 
only truths to be relied on in newspapers." Is this the 
retribution for the errors of the National Gazette? He 
continues, "I feel much greater interest in knowing what 
has past two or three thousand years ago ... I read 
nothing but the heroes of Troy, of the wars of Laced semon 
and others, of Pompey and Caesar, of Augustus, too, the 
Bonaparte and parricide scoundrel of that day." 

Unfortunately Macon destroyed his correspondence and 
for this reason many problems of his life must remain 
unsolved. In private life he was neat, punctilious, eco- 
nomical, plain and unostentatious. Yet to know the man, 
fully to appreciate his spirit and what he was to those who 
knew him intimately for years, is for us impossible. We 
can only read the idealizations of his many admirers, and 
conclude that this "Last of the Romans," as Jefferson 
named him, was among the "noblest of them all." 




Abraham Lincolu, A Man of the People. By Norman Hapgood. (New York: The 
Macmillau Co. 1899. Pp. xiii. 433.) 

Mr. Hapgood's book is perhaps the most satisfactory portrayal of the 
character of Lincoln that is before the public. It is not so close and inti- 
mate a study as Hemdon's but it covers fully the period of the war, which 
Herndon, goes over so hurriedly as to make his work seem, as indeed it is. 
incomplete. The treatment of Hapgood is sane, interesting, and devoid of 
eulog3', except as the incomparable character of his subject eulogizes itself. 
It shows Lincoln in a most human light. It is not wanting in certain small 
inaccuracies ; but a book i3 to be measured by the good there in it and not 
by the bad. By this standard the work is a success. 

J. S. B. 

The History of South Carolina under the Proprietary Government, 1670-1719, and The 
History of South Carolina under the Royal Government. 1719 1775. By Edward Mc- 
Crady. (New York: The Macruillau Co., 1S97 and 1S99. Pp. is. 762 and xxviii. S47.) 

Mr. McCrady's purpose is a laudable one. He has come to the rescue of 
the history of his State and with a great deal of industry has produced two 
large volumes. He has used the printed sources that relate to his subject 
with a spirit of fairness and with no little ability. But as to the unprinted 
sources hi3 work is disappointing. There are, he says. 30 manuscript vol- 
umes of records brought over from the Public Rolls office in London and 
awaiting publication by the State of South Carolina. These documents 
seem to be accessible to the historian, since Mr. McCrady refers to them in 
a few cases ; but in his whole work, wherein there is an abundance of foot- 
notes, he has referred to these documents less than fifteen times. The 
references to the North Carolina Colonial Records are many times more 
numerous. All this seems to :n<lieate that Mr. McCrady's work must be 
done over again when the documents to which I refer are in print; for 
it is most probable that such a publication will reveal much that is now 
unknown. At any rate it will be worth while to have a work that is on 
the sure basis of public documents. Besides this there are some inaccura- 
cies as the confounding of Sir Kovenden Walker, who was in South Caro- 
lina in 1719, with Deputy Governor Henderson Walker, of Xorth Carolina, 
who at that time was in his grave. Each work is too closely chronological 
in form to be clear, and the former lacks a Table of Contents. This fault 
is remedied in the second volume, and in each volume it is lessened by aD 
adequate index. J. S. B. 


The Philadelphia Negro : A Social Study, By W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, PhD., Sometime 
Assistant in Sociology in the University of Pennsylvania; Professor of Economics and 
History in Atlanta University. (Publications of the Uuiversity of Pennsylvania- 
Series in Political Economy and Public I, aw, So, 14, IS99. Pp. xx. .520 ) 

The Future of the American Negro. By Booker T. Washington (Boston: Small, May- 
nard & Co., 1899. Pp. x. 244.) 

There is mo better indication of the Negro's progress than the rise of 
colored scholars and educators. That a race produces men who view the 
problems of humanity from the standpoint of reason, and rely on the fruits 
of their intellect for a livelihood, is a certain sign of an advance toward 
maturity in thought and feeling. This, more than the information set 
forth, lends interest to the subjects of this review. 

Mr. Du Boiss monograph is by far the more scholarly and valuable. A 
graduate of Harvard and two years a student at Berlin, he has applied to 
his subject the best of modern methods: and his four hundred pages form 
perhaps the most complete social investigation by an American writer. He 
first reviews the history of the Ne^ro in Philadelphia, and one is impressed 
that the prejudice and hard feeling against the colored man has been 
largely due to economic causes. Negroes were brought into the colony and 
city at an early date, and were finally emancipated by a gradual process. 
Although degraded, they were so inspired by freedom and directed by 
able leaders that they made considerable progress. But the rise of factories 
and immigration of foreign labor, as well as the antipathy of those opposed 
to abolition, checked this development and increased crime and poverty. 
Gradually economic adjustment allayed excitement and a normal condition 
was attained, but the inpouring of emancipated Southern blacks at the 
close of the war caused another crisis, marked by idleness, poverty, and 

With such a history for a background, a social study of any people must be 
instructive. Li mited space forbids extensive review. One of the most signifi- 
cant chapters is on the family which "was destroyed by slavery, struggled 
up after emancipation, and i3 again not exactly threatened, but neglected, in 
the life of city Negroes." Another on ' 'organized life" contains many sug- 
gestive ideas on the church and its hold on the people. "As a social group 
the Negro Church may be said to have antedated the Negro family on 
American soil, as such it has preserved, on the one hand, many functions 
of tribal organization, and on the other, many of the family functions. ' 
One equally important chapter discusses crime and it is shown that the per- 
cent of Negro crime in the city today is far less, according to population, 
than before the war, "that after the war it decreased until the middle of 
the seventies and then, coincident with the beginning of the new Negro 
immigration to cities, it has risen pretty steadily." Much of this increase 
has been due to change of life and economic competition. Finally, what is 
said of "color prejudice," makes one wonder that even so much has been 
done by Negro individuals. Speaking of the graduates of one colored 
school, he says : "From one-half to two-thirds of these have been compelled 
to leave the city in order to find work ; one, the artist, Tanner, whom 


Franco recently honored, could not in his native land much leaf in his 
native city find room for his talents. He taught school in Georgia in order 
to earn money enough to go abroad." 

The most striking element of Mr. "Washington's book is its elevated moral 
tone. "The time has come, it seems to me, when in this matter (the race 
problem) we should rise above party or race sectionalism into the r< 
of duty of man to man, of citizen to citizen, of Christian to Christian 
if the Negro, who has been oppressed and denied his rights in a Chri 
land, can help the whites of the North and South to rise, can be the inspira- 
tion of their rising into this atmosphere of generous Christian brotherhood 
and self-forgetfulness, he will see in it a recompense for all that he ha* 
suffered in the past." The burden of the subject matter is the need of 
industrial training among the Negroes. There are many sentences that 
smack of the proverb, as, "The American dollar knows no prejndice. " The 
essay that reaches current conditions is the one on lynchings, and the im- 
moral effects of mob law on the people is established by carefully prepared 
statistics. Again, we find this passage: — "I am not pleading for the N'rgro 
alone. Lynching injuries, hardens, and blunts the moral sensibilities of 
the young and tender manhood of iha South. Never shall I forget the 
remark by a little nine year old white boy, with blue eyes and flaxen hair, 
after he had returned from a lynching; 'I have seen a man hanged; now I 
wish I could see one burned. ' Rather than hear such, a remark from one 
of my little boys. I would prtfer to see him in his grave." 

After considering the thoughts and work of these men. we can not but 
feel that the negro is not in ail an evil; that some day he will cease to be a 
"problem''; and that that spirit of pathos and melody that has been his 
characteristic in the past, may be a fore-gleam of a valuable and effectual 
citizenship in the future. W. K. B. 





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